Gerrard 'absolutely devastated' to leave Anfield
Steven Gerrard admitted that he was "absolutely devastated" to leave Liverpool after playing his final home game at Anfield on Sunday morning (Singapore time).
The Liverpool captain will end a 17-year association with his beloved boyhood club when he joins the Los Angeles Galaxy in July.
While he signed off on a losing note as Crystal Palace beat the Reds 3-1, Gerrard was effusive in his praise for his side's fans.
Addressing a sold-out Anfield crowd, he said: "It felt very strange. I’ve been dreading this moment. I’m going to miss it so much.
"I’ve loved every minute. I’m absolutely devastated I’m never going to play in front of these supporters again."
Even though Adam Lallana gave Liverpool the lead with a 26th-minute strike, goals from Jason Puncheon, Wilfried Zaha and Glenn Murray consigned them to a 3-1 defeat on Gerrard's final home bow.
It also ended the Reds' hopes of Champions League qualification despite having a final league game to play away to Stoke.
Nonetheless, Liverpool's vociferous supporters gave the 34-year-old a rapturous send-off.
"I’d like to thank everyone at the club who’s helped me over the last 17 years. There are too many people to name.
"I would like to thank all my team-mates, all the ex-players. They’ve made me the player I am today."
Saving his last thanks to "the most important people at the football club", he added:
"These supporters stand out more than anyone.
"Before I go, before the tears come, I’ve played in front of most supporters around the world, but let me tell you, you’re the best."
While it was not the result that he wanted, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said of Gerrard: "He got a wonderful send-off.
"He gave everything right to the very end. He was the one driving forward, trying to get the goal.
"The support he got was absolutely brilliant and what you would expect, having been a wonderful player here."
Online, the tributes flowed from players past and present.
Sources: AFP, Twitter