When Jamie Carragher hangs up his boots on Sunday he would have played his 737th game for Liverpool F.C., only one player in club’s history has played more and that was Ian Callaghan with 857 games.
The number of appearances doesn’t tell the whole story of one of the greatest players to ever play for Liverpool. Jamie is one of a kind, he came up through the Liverpool academy and now will retire having only played for one club. This is something you don’t see often in football, even past Liverpool legends like Ian Callaghan, Kenny Dalglish, Phil Neal, Ian Rush, John Barnes and Robbie Fowler had played for other clubs.
Ironically Jamie (as described in his excellent autobiography) grew up as a Blue, he even showed up wearing his Everton shirt at his earlier training sessions however he turned out to be a true Red, bleeding Redder and anyone of us. We of course remember his heroics at Istanbul and the treble winning season of 2001 however there was more to Jamie than that. He is a proven leader and I would love to see him coaching back at Liverpool sometime soon, he would eventually make a great manager.
On a personal note, I met Jamie last Summer in Boston (Yes, I am gutted that my only photo with him is blurred) and what I had heard was true. The guy is the most down-to-earth person you will ever meet. For those wondering, he does speak slower when he is not being shoved with a microphone in his face :-) Jamie was happy to hear that I was Maltese, his maternal grandparents came from my home country so I can’t be prouder of our Number 23.
My favourite Carra moment was in Istanbul, he convinced Dudek to do Grobbelaar’s spaghetti feet dance before the penalties to distract the AC Milan penalty takers. And yes it worked, proving that knowing your rich history can also win you trophies.
Thank you Jamie,