Jamie Carragher: A Tribute to a True Liverpool Hero and Ultimate One-Club Man

Scott Burns@@scottb86Featured ColumnistMay 15, 2013

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 05:  Jamie Carragher of Liverpool gives a thumbs up during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Everton at Anfield on May 5, 2013 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

"Who's bigger than Liverpool?"

Jamie Carragher's answer when asked if he had ever considered leaving Liverpool for a "bigger club."

A no-nonsense reply from a no-nonsense defender.

Liverpool fans knew it was a real probability, but most would have hoped it was still a good few years away from becoming a reality. After 17 years, over 700 appearances, 35 England caps and just one club (via Daily Mail), Jamie Carragher is set to pull on the famous red shirt for the final time against Queens Park Rangers on Sunday, 19th May.

Never one to have been blessed with electrifying pace or the ability to deliver an eye of a needle pass, what Carragher lacked in technical ability he more than made up for with desire.

Desire to get the best out of the ability he was given.

Desire to win.

A return to the starting lineup has coincided with Liverpool's best form of the season and it is by "Carra's" own admission that the desire to go out on a high is the reason behind his decision to finally call it a day (via the Mirror). 

It is a rare commodity in modern day football that a player spends his entire career with just one club, and nobody epitomises what Liverpool Football Club stands for more than Jamie Carragher.

It is often said that Steven Gerrard is the heart of Liverpool. If that is the case, then Carragher is its soul.

May 25th 2005 and the Uefa Champions League Final. Arguably the most historic night in the history of what is still England's most successful club.

The images of Carragher putting his cramp-ridden body on the line to prevent AC Milan from scoring a late winner are as iconic as those of Gerrard hoisting Liverpool's fifth European Cup into the Istanbul sky, images that sum up the career of the Reds' No. 23.

Never one to shy away from a challenge on the pitch, neither was he one to hide away from confrontation off it. His decision to consider retiring from international football in 2007 led to TalkSport chat show host Adrian Durham to label him a "bottler." Carragher subsequently called the station and entered into a live on-air debate in which he defended himself vigorously from those "bottler" claims.

The failure of a succession of England managers to pick Carragher in his favoured centre-back position subsequently led to international retirement, but England's loss was Liverpool's gain. He retires second only to Ian Callaghan in the club's all-time appearance list (via LFCHistory).

Whilst the majority of youngsters kicking a ball around in the park will dream of being the next Steven Gerrard or Luis Suarez, Carra can lay claim to representing everything that not just the club, but that the city of Liverpool represents: a hard-working local boy who lived his dream.

Let us not forget that this is the man who walked off the pitch with a broken leg in 2003 and who sold his wedding photos to a Liverpool fanzine for £1.00.

Rafa Benitez once told journalists that he dreamed of a team full of Jamie Carraghers.

Sorry Rafa, there is, and only ever will be, one Jamie Carragher!


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