After 17 memorable years, defender Jamie Carragher played his final game for Liverpool FC on Sunday and signed off with a 1-0 victory against Queens Park Rangers FC at Anfield.
The 35-year-old, who announced his retirement plans in February, has played more than 700 games for the Merseyside club, winning the 2000/01 UEFA Cup and the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League as well as two FA Cups. He also accumulated 38 England caps and is second only to Ian Callaghan in terms of all-time Liverpool appearances.
"I've had lots of great times and memories that I'll never forget – especially those of the supporters dragging us over the line during those special nights at Anfield and in Istanbul," said Carragher, who came within a post's width of marking a poignant day with a novelty goal.
"I think I would have walked straight off [the pitch] if that went in; I would have had to," he joked, having found the net just three times in 508 Premier League outings. "I'm just getting the hang of shooting in my final game. It's come a bit late! I can't believe it didn't go in. I was fortunate enough to score on my debut and it would have been nice to finish that way, but it wasn't to be."
Captain on a day when a Coutinho goal ultimately settled matters, Carragher will be remembered for his steely determination and unwavering commitment that permeated through to his team-mates. Naturally, he remained a consummate professional until an outpouring of emotion greeted his substitution and final moments in a Liverpool shirt four minutes from time.
"It's important to remember this was a game we wanted to win and that's what we did in the end," he added. "It was nice to get my children involved, but we wanted to make sure we won the game. I had to try and stay as focused as possible because there would have been nothing worse than a defeat today or a poor performance. It was nice to keep a clean sheet and win the game."
"He's an incredible player," commented manager Brendan Rodgers after guiding the Reds to a seventh-place finish in his first season in charge. "That's my biggest regret – I wanted to work longer with him. Jamie's been absolutely first class and a colossal player for this club. It's with great sadness we have to move on. There's not many around of his type with that quality."
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