Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

Carragher one of the good ones

article-2274952-1767C008000005DC-794_634x400Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher announced on Thursday that after 16 seasons and more than 700 appearances with his hometown club, he will retire.

“I’m making this announcement now because I don’t want the manager or the club to be answering questions on my future when I’ve already decided what I am going to do,” Carragher said in a statement. “I will be fully committed between now and the end of the season to doing the very best for Liverpool, as I have done my entire career since joining aged just nine years old.

“It has been a privilege and an honour to represent this great club for as long as I have and I am immensely proud to have done so and thankful for all the support I have had. There are many memories I want to share and people to thank, but now is not the time for that.

“I won’t be making any further comment on this decision until the end of the season; all our focus and concentration should be on achieving the best possible finish in the league this season and trying to win the last remaining trophy we are competing in.”

We came to the sport too late to see Carragher at his absolute best, but we’ve been able to appreciate all that he has done for the team. He is truly a club legend, one who realized that playing for his hometown team – through thick and thin – was more important than chasing trophies in another uniform. (If you’ve ever seen the way he helped hold the team together in the 2005 Champions League final against AC Milan you’ll know what we mean.)

“Everyone is different,'” he said in a 2011 interview. “When (results) go bad, it really affects me. But I don’t suppose I’d have had the career I’ve had if I hadn’t been like that. There are players with better technical ability than me and I’m not the biggest or the quickest.

“But my desire is as big as anyone’s. My drive and desire has got me to play for Liverpool. Football is so important to me. Sometimes I look around our dressing room and I wonder whether it hurts some of the others enough.”

Carragher has done almost everything in his career, from lifting the Champions League trophy to starting for the English national team. The only title that eluded his grasp was the Premier League crown.

“Jamie has been absolutely outstanding for me since I joined the club,” Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers told The Daily Mail. “He has been a model professional on and off the pitch and has shown an unswerving commitment to our work. Jamie’s focus is always on doing what is best for the team and he has said he doesn’t want any distractions while there are still important matches to be played and won.”

While Rodgers has been transitioning Carragher out of the lineup – he has started just four Premier League games this year – it will still be strange to watch a game next season and not see his No. 23 on the pitch.

(Photo by The Daily Mail)

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