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Did Steven Gerrard support Everton? Liverpool legend's Toffees link explained

19:30 GMT 19/11/2021
Steven Gerrard Liverpool
The likes of Jamie Carragher and Robbie Fowler grew up as Everton supporters, but what about Steven Gerrard?

Steven Gerrard is one of Liverpool's all-time greats, an Anfield legend and a local hero on Merseyside.

While there have been many former Liverpool players who actually spent their childhoods supporting rivals Everton, is this the case for Gerrard? GOAL takes a look.

Did Gerrard support Everton growing up?

Gerrard grew up a Liverpool supporter, which makes him one of the few former Reds players who actually supported them and not the Toffees.

As is the case with many families in Merseyside, Gerrard's family contained a mix of both Liverpool and Everton supporters, but Gerrard's father was notably a Red – though his uncle Leslie was a Blue.

There was damning evidence that surfaced in the early 2000s that Gerrard – who was already a Liverpool player – actually supported Everton as a boy, due to a photo circulating on the internet and in the press of a young Gerrard posing in an Everton kit in the Everton trophy room.

Gerrard has debunked the myth behind the story many times, explaining that as a football-crazed boy, he had won a competition to have his photo taken in the Everton trophy room at Goodison Park, orchestrated by his uncle Leslie – which had, predictably, angered his Kopite father.

What has Gerrard said about it?

"A quick search on the Internet will reveal a photo of me as a schoolboy in a full Everton strip. Blue shirt, shorts, socks, the works," Gerrard wrote in his 2006 autobiography.

"When I became big news with Liverpool, some enterprising Everton fanzines discovered the picture and printed it. They must have loved that! A huge debate broke out. Many people thought it was a fake. It isn't. It's a genuine photograph, taken in 1987. That is me, dressed as an Evertonian, and it wasn't at a fancy-dress party or for a bet.

"Leslie took me to Goodison when I was six and I saw some of Everton games on the way to their league championship. I won a programme competition to have my picture taken with the league trophy and Charity Shield at Goodison. Uncle Leslie was buzzing. He knew it would send Dad through the roof, and it really did. Dad went ballistic at the thought of his son, all in blue, standing proudly in the Goodison trophy room.

"He's not going, Dad kept telling Leslie. You're not going, Dad kept telling me. But I did. I was seven by that time, mad about football, not that clued-up in those days about the intense rivalry between Everton and Liverpool. I ripped open the wrapping, put the crisp blue strip on and headed off for Goodison with Leslie, leaving an enraged Dad behind. Disowning me must have crossed his mind. Leslie guided me into the trophy room at Goodison, all smiles, and the photographer snapped away.

"Now that my heart belongs to Liverpool, I look back on the incident and wonder what the hell I was doing. Put it down to the naivety of youth. We all make mistakes."

Gerrard has spoken about it recently as well, and was invited to former team-mate Jamie Carragher's podcast in 2020 to recount the story behind the photo.

“That was a competition. I won that. Penalty shoot-out captain…” Gerrard began, before Carragher interrupted.

“Competition to be an Everton fan?” Carragher teased.

“No, no, no,” Gerrard continued. “It changed every year. So one year it was at Goodison, one year it was at Anfield.

“If you won it the year it was at Goodison, it was the Everton kit, picture with whatever they won that year.

“I see that picture every couple of days! It just pops up somewhere!

“I used to get all different kits for Christmas. I remember I had a Tottenham kit, was it Holsten [as the sponsor].

“I had a Norwich kit… Thank God, these pictures have never surfaced. But that Everton one keeps popping up.”

Which former Liverpool players supported Everton growing up?

There are a notable handful of former Reds greats whose allegiances were with the Blue side of Liverpool as kids.

Ex-Liverpool vice-captain Carragher is a famous example, along with the likes of Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler and Steve McManaman.

“It was in 1999, when I was a Liverpool player and we’d been beaten by Man Utd an FA Cup tie," Carragher had said.

"It was a lunchtime kick-off, and later that afternoon I met some of my friends for a few drinks down the pub – the same one I’d watched Arsenal beat Liverpool in 10 years earlier. It was full of Evertonians who were absolutely delighted Liverpool had lost, and it really annoyed me. Before then I’d become indifferent to Everton’s results, but from that day on I wanted them to get beat!"