It’s a title that was once pinned to an artisan of a different kind, but at the end of Liverpool’s last game of the season, a few banners evident in the Kop, espousing Carragher with that epithet, summed up the feelings of the fans about their stalwart defender. The definition of a ‘one club’ man, Carragher served the Anfield club for 17 seasons through the great times, and the not so great ones, collecting silverware of all types along the way. The only club trophy that he missed out on being that so elusive championship trophy that eluded the Liverpool for so long.
An archetypical solid defender of the ‘no nonsense’ variety, although no mug with the ball at his feet, he would doubtless admit to not being outrageously blessed in the finer footballing talent department. Where he was not lacking however was with the heart and commitment that he put into the 700 odd games that turned out for in the famous red – aside from a few garish second strips, that is – of his club.
Strange to say that, along with a few other legends of red hue of Merseyside, Carragher was a boyhood blue – a fan of rivals Everton. But after some 17 years of dependable service, there’s no Kopite that would hold that against him now. True to say, that he was not one of those defenders that often sallied forward to bag goals from corners, free kicks or the like, but his performances were defined by the dogged defensive displays that contributed so many times to the Liverpool list of clean sheets – despite, that is, his apparent penchant for an own goal or two.
Many clubs can point to players that they feel speak of the finer points of their club. Usually they are defenders, usually not the most talented, but almost always the heroic, reliable leaders and inspirational figures. These are the players revered by their club’s fans, and respected by the fans of other clubs. The guys you would want on your side in a tight corner. Jamie Carragher certainly fits into that description.
A career alongside other Liverpool refugee Jamie Redknapp, and arch Manchester United ‘red’ Gary Neville is awaiting for next season. It wouldn’t be the biggest surprise in the world however if at some time in the future, an opportunity opened up for Carragher back at Anfield. With the experience he has, and the respect he would command, there’s every chance that he could become an inspiring coach of younger generations, and, who knows, one day a manager of the club. It would be an echo of the ‘boot room’ past of the club, and let’s face it, that succession of Shankley, Paisley, Fagan, etc, didn’t do too badly, did it.