So Long Jamie Carragher…. You’ll Never Walk Alone

Last Season Serie A lost a plethora of stars and this season EPL lost a few when the curtains fell on the 2012-13 season and one of them was Jamie Carragher. Jamie’s career as a Liverpool player came to an end when the final whistle blew on19th May, 2013 against QPR at Anfield. A 17 year long career and all of it with only ONE club, Liverpool.

Born in Bootle, Merseyside, Carraghar was a childhood Everton supporter but joined their rivals Liverpool in 1990 and hence began is journey. His first title with Liverpool came in 1996 when he won the FA youth cup along with Owen. Since then, He has made over 700 appearances for Liverpool over 17 years. . A one Club-stalwart, Jamie has been one of the clubs longest serving players and is second to Ian Rush in the clubs all time appearance list.  Carragher also holds the record for the most appearances in European competition for Liverpool with 150 appearances.

Throughout his early playing career, he was essentially used as a utility player that spent time as a centre-half, full-back and defensive midfielder. Carragher’s versatility meant that he began to be deployed to fill wherever there was a hole, but this ironically harmed his ability to hold down a first team position of his own. The 2000–01 season saw Carragher switch to the the left-back position and win his first senior honours, as Liverpool went on to win the FA Cup, League Cup, UEFA Cup, Community Shield and Super Cup in the space of just a few months.

The 2004–05 season proved to be a career-defining one for Carragher. New manager Rafael Benítez moved him to centre-half, where he played alongside Sami Hyypiä. Carragher developed a reputation as a strong and positionally astute defender and would remain in the centre-half position for the rest of his career. This season also saw Carragher prove central to Liverpool’s triumph in the UEFA Champions League, where they historically overturned a 3-0 deficit at half time and Beat AC Milan on penalties. Carragher went on to captain the team to their UEFA Super Cup victory over CSKA Moscow.

He played 38 matches for his national team, England. He played in 2004 EUROS, 2006 and 2010 world cup. He couldn’t take part in the 2002 world cup because of an injury. Even though he was in the squad, he did not get to play a single game in 2004 European championship as Ledley King was preferred over him but he did get to play in the 2006 world cup when Gary Neville picked up an injury.

In 2007, Jammie retired for international football though leaving a door open for a possible return if this team needed him and he eventually did come out of retirement due to injuries and defensive issues. Carragher said of his return to international football, “The FA got in touch a few weeks ago and asked if I would have a rethink, due to injury problems; I said I would make myself available.”

 Capello named him in the 30 man squad for the 2010 world cup. He played the first two group matches getting a yellow in both of those games which subsequently got him suspended for the next match. Those two games were the last he ever played for his country as Carragher permanently retired from international football, stating that his international return had been a “one-off” due to injuries to other players.

Jammie’s biggest regret is not winning the English Premier league with his beloved club but he did manage to win every other trophy possible.

2 FA Cups (2000-01, 2005-06)

3 league cups (2000-01, 2002-03, 2011-12)

2 FA Community Shield (2001, 2006)

1 Champions league (2004-05)

1 Uefa cup ( Now Europa League) (2000-11)

2 UEFA Super cup (2001, 2005)

On 7 February 2013, Carragher announced his intention to retire from football at the end of the 2012–13 season after serving Liverpool for 17 long years.

No matter how good a player you are, the clock would not stop ticking for you. The inevitable emergence of young forces, forces the team to make changes. As age catches up reflexes  becomes slow but that still doesn’t change the influence a player has on the team.

He was never going to be a world beater and a few would have envisaged him to be the first name of the team sheet of one of the most successful clubs of all time bet fewer would doubt that his love for Liverpool made him a better player than he was.

Nothing can keep his passion and professionalism for football away and this should be remembered and respected by the football community, particularly in a world today where players may be tempted by a better-paid contract over more playing time.

Loyalty is a rare trait in football these days so we have all the more reason to hail this departing champion. Money and trophies lure players to greener pastures but a few stand by their club and help them achieve their ambitions and JC was one of them.

The Germans have a saying, “Whose bread I eat, his song I sing” never has those words rang true for anyone more than Jamie Carragher. To have been raised as a blue and transitioned into being a redder than blood, red is no simple feat but a feat which expresses only one explanation. Being taught to love and learning to love are 2 very different things and Carragher somehow, inexplicably managed to merge them.

While writing this article I remembered what my dear friend, twister(Alias) once said which sums up Carragher’s career, “You don’t need Ballon D’ORs to be a legend. One team Loyalists are better than travelling legends”

The match against QPR was a highly emotional affair as he bid farewell to his fans at Anfield, a place where he learnt his trade. The fans burst out singing “You will never walk alone” for Jamie during the end of the match which was an emotional scene for any football fan. A fitting farewell for this Liverpool legend.

After serving his club for 17 years, let us pay homage to a great player, ambassador of the game, and a fine gentleman off the field, whose career would always be synonymous to qualities befitting that of an ultimate professional.

Jamie Carragher loves his club as much as anyone can love anything, and the club and the city, irrespective of whether their blood runs red or blue, loves him back. What unconditional love can help a person achieve, nothing else can and as a football fan, I Salute you JC, for putting the love of the game back in the game.

In his last interview, and in a typical Carragher fashion—the boy from Bootle insisted that whatever happens, he won’t end the day in tears after the final whistle, well He didn’t, but he sure did leave Liverpool fans in tears.

…. So long Jamie, and thank you for the memories!!!

Written by Dinesh V

Co-founder of Soccersouls. Living a start-up life 24/7
Follow @dineshintwit

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