Smith admires Gerrard’s loyalty and passion

2014-04-19 00:00

LIVERPOOL — Former Proteas captain Graeme Smith has heaped praise on Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard.

Smith, who retired from international cricket last month, realised a life-long dream when he visited Anfield for the first time on Sunday to witness Liverpool’s 3-2 English Premiership win over Manchester City.

The win made the team from Anfield red-hot favourites to lift their first league title since 1990.

According to Liverpool’s official website, Smith watched as Gerrard turned in a typically dominant display, before rounding up the players in a huddle at the final whistle, instructing them to forget the valiant victory and “go again” next week.

“Initially, what has to strike you most about Steven is that you don’t get people like him in modern sport often,” said Smith. “His loyalty, pride and passion for Liverpool is so rare in these times, and it makes him unique because just by that, he doesn’t have to say anything. The way he carries himself and the club says enough, he leads by example.

“Another thing I really admire about him is his calmness on the field. Regardless of the pressure or what is needed, he keeps his head and gets his instructions across.

“I watched him constantly talking to his players, guiding them. The thing about Gerrard is what he asks of his team, he delivers himself. It is very easy to follow him and be inspired by him because his career is leadership enough.”

Smith, who is an avid Liverpool fan, was overwhelmed by his debut trip to Anfield and remembers “lying on the floor or on the couch as a youngster watching the team play, being very caught up by them”.

“Every time I came across to England, I tried to find some sort of time in my schedule to visit Anfield, but because of cricket and the commitments in my career, there was never a gap,” said Smith.

Smith currently captains English county Surrey.

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