Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard spoke yesterday of his delight at being awared an MBE in the Queen's New Year's Honours list.
Gerrard's award was for his contribution to football, which most recently includes him winning the FA Cup in May, but perhaps relates more to his contribution to helping bring home Liverpool's fifth European Cup a year earlier.
Gerrard himself wanted to share the award with all of those who've played a part in his career at all levels, for club and country, since he was very much a youngster: "I am absolutely thrilled and honoured to receive this recognition for playing a game I’ve loved all my life. I’d like to accept this on behalf of all those people who have been so supportive to me throughout my career, all my team-mates over the years, everyone at Liverpool Football Club, everyone at Team England, all my family and friends and all those coaches who have helped me since I was eight."
His boss at Anfield, Rafael Benitez, also felt the award was a shared one for all those involved at Anfield, including the fans. He did congratulate Steven, but hoped that those people behind the scenes wouldn't be forgotten: "This is a good reward for Steve because he's a nice boy, a good professional and the captain of this club. Everyone must be very proud of him, but I would also say this is an award for the club, the supporters, his team-mates and his coaches."
He continued: "In football you can never recognise just one player. Steven has been at this club for years and has worked with many coaches at the Academy and Melwood and all through that time he has had the supporters behind him. You cannot play at your level all the time if you don't have people backing you."
The next award Liverpool fans would like to see is a posthumous knighthood for "Sir" Bob Paisley, the most successful manager in English football history, the man who won three of Liverpool's five European Cups.