On this day in 1978 former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher was born. He made 737 appearances for the Reds, scoring 5 goals in all competitions.
Born in Bootle on the 28th January 1978, he grew up as an Everton fan. He joined Liverpool in 1987 and once he started playing for the Reds, you couldn’t fault his loyalty to the club and is today regarded as a Liverpool Legend.
He was handed his debut by manager Roy Evans in January 1997 as a substitute for Rob Jones in a league cup match against Middlesborough. Carraghers presence had been monitored through his time at the Football Associations School of Excellence at Lilleshall and as a member of Liverpool Youth team who successfully won the Youth Cup in 1996. His full Liverpool debut got off to a great start after he headed a left wing cross into the back of the net at the Kop end to set the team off for a comfortable 3-0 win over Aston Villa.
Carragher became a more regular member of the team and made 20 starting XI appearances and came on 3 times a substitute in the 1997/98 season. When Gerard Houllier was appointed manager, he put all his faith in the boy from Bootle and Carragher became a key player for the Reds and went on to help the team win the treble in the 2000/01 season.
His versatility as a defender helped him to cement his place in the Liverpool squad and no matter how many new defenders came to the club, no one could replace Carra on the team sheet. When Houllier left and Rafa Benitez came in, he saw Carragher as his starting Centre Back and in the Spaniards first two seasons in charge at the club, the Reds defender ended the campaigns with a Champions league and FA cup winners medal. The following seasons proved that Carragher was the heart and soul of Liverpool’s defence and no one could shake Carraghers place in the centre of defence. He was regarded as one of the best defenders in Europe and his last ditch tackling and self-sacrifice for the team outweighs everything else.
In September 2010, Carragher enjoyed a well deserved testimonial at Anfield where a mixture of past and present Liverpool players played an Everton team and all proceeds from the game where donated to charity through his Carragher 23 Foundation. He made a total of 21 Premier league appearances in the 2011/12 season, his lowest number of appearances since the 2003/04 campaign. It became clear that he was no longer first choice for current manager at the time Brendan Rodgers.
Carragher announced during February of that season that he would be hanging up his boots at the end of the campaign and he made an emotional farewell as captain at Anfield when the reds hosted QPR on the final day of the season. The defender nearly bowed out in style when a long range drive crashed against the QPR post and bounced back out, that would have been some way to end his career.
Carragher currently sits second in the table for most Liverpool appearances with Ian Callaghan sitting in top spot with 857 appearance for the Reds and finished his Liverpool career with X2 FA Cup, X1 Champions League, X3 League cups and X1 UEFA Super cup winners medals.
Article by Lauren Black
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