This day had been coming all year, but despite the time to anticipate the moment, Steven Gerrard's last home match with Liverpool was as emotional as ever. Steven Gerrard said he was "devastated" to end his Anfield career as he paid tribute to Liverpool's supporters after playing his final Premier League home match on Saturday.
Emotions ruled the day and Liverpool seemed unable to avoid the distraction as they fell to visiting Crystal Palace 3-1. Forget the scoreline. The day belonged to former England captain Gerrard, who at the end of the season will head to the United States to play for the LA Galaxy.
"It felt very strange. As I say I have been dreading this moment and the reason being because I will miss it so much," Gerrard said on the pitch after the game. "I've loved every minute of it and I'm absolutely devastated I'll never play in front of these fantastic supporters again. First and foremost I'd like to thank everyone at the club who has helped me in the last 17 years.
"I'd like to thank all my teammates today, all the ex-players who I have played with over the years -- they have made me the player I am. I'll save my last thank you for these supporters -- they stand out. 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're the best."
Asked about his favourite Anfield moment, Gerrard said: "It is very difficult to pick one. The first time I ran out was the moment I will never forget. The first time you play for Liverpool is a dream come true, everything else was a bonus for me.
It was a sad ending to what has often been a bittersweet career for Liverpool's No. 8. After the match Gerrard was flanked by his three daughters and accepted a memento from Gerard Houllier, his first Liverpool manager. And with that ends 17 years of Liverpool service for the legendary Steven Gerrard.