Sunday 17 December 2017

Steven Gerrard serves up classy tribute to Stephen McPhail after old rival announced his retirement

Steven Gerrard is challenged by Stephen McPhail at Anfield in 2000
Steven Gerrard is challenged by Stephen McPhail at Anfield in 2000
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Steven Gerrard has served up a classy gesture to salute former Republic of Ireland international Stephen McPhail, who announced his retirement from the game on Saturday.

LA Galaxy midfielder Gerrard had plenty of tussles with McPhail during his time with Leeds and he offered this Instagram message to wish his old rival well after he confirmed he was hanging up his boots.

Had many great battles with this fella over the years . Good luck with your retirement . #stephenmcphail

A photo posted by Steven Gerrard (@stevengerrard) on

McPhail enjoyed one of his finest moments of a fine career as he captained Cardiff City to the FA Cup final in 2008.

Yet his life was knocked off track when he was diagnosed with stage one malt lymphoma, forcing him to fight an altogether more daunting battle off the field.

He has made his mark with Shamrock Rovers in the last couple of years and admitted he quitted the game with a heavy heart.

“I have always dreaded this day coming,” said the 36-year-old.

“The opportunity to play in over 500 competitive games and represent my country has been a dream come true. I am very grateful to have spent over 20 years in football.

“I owe so much to the best game in the world. I have had unbelievable experiences and hold many great memories. It has really moulded me into the person that I am today.”

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