Saturday, July 26, 2008

Liverpool FC star Steven Gerrard joins the grads

FOOTBALLER Steven Gerrard praised fellow graduates for being the real stars of the show as they lined up alongside him to receive their university honours.
Speaking yesterday as he became an honorary Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University, the modest midfielder told dons and students he would treasure his Fellowship scroll.
The Liverpool FC captain, said: "I'm really proud to come from this city. I always try to do my best for the city, both on and off the pitch. Everyone in the university family has made me feel so welcome.
"But I want to congratulate all the graduates. I think this day belongs to you more than me.
"I have achieved this with great help from players, coaches, everyone at Liverpool Football Club and my family who were with me from day one.
"You guys have had to work so hard alone to achieve your dream."
The 28-year-old England star was joined by his wife Alex Curran, wearing a smart yellow dress, who sat clapping in the front row as she watched her husband receive his fellowship at Liverpool Cathedral for services to sport.
He was joined by songwriter and lyricist Richard Stilgoe OBE who called him the finest footballer in the world and said he was proud to stand alongside him.
The 55-year-old - brought up in Liverpool and a veteran of the Cavern Club - told graduates to follow the university's motto: Dream, Plan, Achieve.
He said: "But if I've had a good time it's because I've had the dreams and every now and then I've thrown away the plans."
Mr Stilgoe received his Fellowship for services to musical theatre and the education of young people.
Liverpool John Moores University's Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Brown said Steven Gerrard epitomised the university's philosophy.
He said: "As a young boy he excelled in the sport he loves and ensured his talent was recognised, looking upon challenges as opportunities and pursuing each available avenue.
"As a result he has become one of the best sportsmen in the country, if not the world, with a reputation for integrity both on and off the pitch.
"We are delighted to welcome him into the university family."

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