Tuesday, November 13, 2012
STEVEN GERRARD SHARES SPECIAL MOMENT WITH PUPILS FORMER PRIMARY SCHOOL ON THE EVE OF HIS 100TH ENGLAND CAP
England and Liverpool captain, Steven Gerrard was standing in the middle of a tiny school hall when the magnitude of what he was about to achieve struck home.
As he looked around, the memories came flooding back. Gerrard is on the verge of winning his 100th England cap but the morning he spent at Huyton-with-Roby Church of England Primary School put the journey to the top of his profession firmly into context.
This was where it had all began. There could have been no more fitting place, then, for him to mark the achievement of becoming England's sixth footballing centurion than by returning to his first school and recreating the iconic image of Bobby Moore in 1973, surrounded by 99 children, each wearing one of his international caps.
Gerrard looked overwhelmed as the photoshoot began, even if the youngest members of the assembled children were blissfully unaware of who he was.
Others were so excited they chirruped the song the Liverpool supporters sing to him, minus the colourful language, of course.
Its aim is to inspire future generations and, judging by the reception he received, his inspirational qualities are not in question. The 30 minutes the 99 children spent with Gerrard, as the cameras clicked to get the perfect image before the heavens opened, will not be forgotten either - by him or the staff of his old school.
'I'm not keen on having my picture taken, but this was special,' said Gerrard. 'I had memories of being on the playground, playing football in the little halls or being stood outside the headmaster's office if I'd been naughty.
Huyton-with-Roby was known as St Michael's Church of England Primary School when Gerrard attended.
It has changed since he left in 1991, but Gerrard's impact since has been profound and in one hall there is 'an aspiration corner', where one of Gerrard's Liverpool shirts hangs.