Steven Gerrard announces departure from Liverpool
Liverpool midfielder and captain Steven Gerrard announced his departure from the club on Friday, the BBC reports.
"This has been the toughest decision of my life, one both me and my family have agonised over for a good deal of time," Gerrard said, according to the BBC. "I won't be playing for a competing club and will not therefore be lining up against Liverpool."
Gerrard, 34, said that his decision was "based on my wish to experience something different in my career and life," and added that he wanted to make sure he had "no regrets when my playing career is eventually over."
Gerrard, who announced his retirement from international soccer this summer, joined Liverpool's youth academy when he was nine and made his professional debut in 1998.
Over 17 years, Gerrard has recorded nearly 700 appearances and 180 goals while helping the Reds win the Champions League and the FA cup, among other trophies.
Gerrard has also collected a number of individual awards during his time at Anfield, including PFA Player of the Year in 2005-06.
- Chris Johnson and Scooby Axson