May 16, 2015 20:29:00
“It felt very strange [stepping out at Anfield for the last time]. I’ve been dreading this moment. I’m going to miss it so much. I’ve loved every minute of it and I’m absolutely devastated I’m not going to play in front of these supporters again.
“It’s very difficult to pick one. The very first time I ran out, thanks to this man here [Gerard Houllier] is a moment I’ll never forget. The first time you play for Liverpool is a dream come true. Everything else after that was a bonus for me. The very first time to play for Liverpool was an absolute dream.
“The club’s in good hands. We’ve got fantastic owners. We’ve got Ian [Ayre, chief executive] underneath that and a fantastic manager in Brendan [Rodgers]. As you can see there’s unbelievable potential in the squad. I’m sure that there’s going to be some new signings in the coming weeks but I look at the players in front of me who I’ve shared a dressing room with for many years, I absolutely love them to death and I wish them every success in the future.
“First and foremost I want to thank everyone at the club whose helped me over the last 17 years. From top to bottom there’s too many people to name. I’d like to thank all my team-mates today, and the squad, even the players that didn’t get on. All the ex-players that I’ve played with over the years, they’ve made me the player I am today. But I have to save my last thank you to the most important people at any football club but these supporters stand out more than anything I’ve experienced.
“Just before I go, before the tears come… I’ve played in front of most supporters around the world but let me tell you, you are the best. Thank you very much, all the best.”