Steven Gerrard is preparing to hang up his boots. The sporting hero has announced that he is retiring from professional football, putting an end to the recent speculation.
Steven, 36, officially confirmed the news on Instagram, thanking his fans, his clubs and "most importantly" his family, which includes his wife Alex and the couple's three children Lily, Lexie and Lourdes. The former Liverpool captain acknowledged his "incredible" 19-year career and wrote that he is thankful for the time he spent playing for Liverpool, England and LA Galaxy.
Steven Gerrard has played for Liverpool more than 700 times
"Firstly, I would like to thank everyone at Liverpool Football Club," Steve wrote. "I am proud to have played for and captained Liverpool for so many years and to have achieved what we achieved during my time at the club. I was lucky to play alongside some great players and under some fantastic managers during my time at Anfield and would like to thank each and every one of them, as well as all of the backroom staff at the club for the fantastic support they showed me."
He thanked his wife Alex and their three daughters for the 'constant love' and support
Stevie, as he is known by fans, gave a special shout out to Steve Heighway, Dave Shannon and Hugh McAuley, as well as thanking his agent Struan Marshall. He reached out to fans, writing: "Thank you to the amazing fans of Liverpool, England and LA Galaxy for the incredible backing you have given me throughout my career. Your loyalty and support has meant the world."
"Without you nothing would have been possible," he wrote
"Finally, the most important thank you; to my family," he concluded. "I cannot thank my Mum, Dad and brother Paul enough for their unconditional support over the years, it has meant everything to me. To my wife Alex and children Lily, Lexie and Lourdes, thank you for the constant love and support you've shown me. You've been there through the good times and the bad and without you nothing would have been possible. Thank you for everything."
Stevie and his wife Alex are expecting their fourth child
Stevie, who is England's fourth most-capped player with 114 appearances, added that he was "excited" about the future and is considering a number of options with regards to the next stage of his career. The football star has been linked to a job in management with MK Dons, although on Wednesday he stated that the opportunity came "too soon" for him.
Stevie is not only seeing a change in his career; his home life is set to change too. The doting dad and his wife Alex recently confirmed that they are expecting their fourth child next year. The new arrival will join big sisters Lily, 12, Lexie, ten, and Lourdes, five.