True Liverpudlian

Alongside the likes of team-mate Steven Gerrard, the 32-year-old, Jamie Carragher, is praised for being a one-club player and is often referred to as ‘Mr. Liverpool.' Such is his commitment to the Anfield cause. By Abdul Miah.

Jamie Carragher has been prominent in Liverpool's success over the last decade, winning 10 major honours including the FA Cup (twice), League Cup (twice), UEFA Cup and the UEFA Champions League in just under 650 appearances.

Alongside the likes of team-mate Steven Gerrard, the 32-year-old is praised for being a one-club player and is often referred to as ‘Mr Liverpool' such is his commitment to the Anfield cause. The Bootle-born defender actually grew up supporting Everton and could not have dreamt of such a career when he started out with his local side Merton Villa in Merseyside.

Carragher attended the former FA School of Excellence at Lilleshall and was a member of Liverpool's FA Youth Cup-winning team in 1996. In October that year, Carragher signed his first professional contract under Roy Evans and his first-team debut followed three months later against Middlesbrough in the League Cup.

His passion, enthusiasm and versatility soon ensured regular starts, whether at right-back, left-back, centre-half or defensive midfield as he broke into the first team in the 1997/98 season. The Reds defender soon became a regular fixture in the England under-21 team before making his senior debut in April 1999, coming on as a substitute against Hungary. Under Gerard Houllier's stewardship in 2001, Carragher played an integral role as Liverpool won the FA Cup, UEFA Cup, League Cup, Community Shield and the European Super Cup.

However, following a disappointing season, Houllier left Anfield in 2004 and was succeeded by Rafael Benitez, which resulted in Carragher getting the permanent centre-back spot. Carragher and Sami Hyypia formed a tight defensive partnership that helped the club win the 2005 UEFA Champions League final against AC Milan in Turkey. One of the iconic images from that memorable night in Istanbul was Carragher collapsing with cramp after yet another last-ditch interception as the Reds came from 3-0 down to eventually triumph on penalties.

A new four-year deal was signed in July 2005 and a month later Carragher, in the absence of the injured Gerrard, lifted aloft the European Super Cup after defeating CSKA Moscow. Carragher decided to retire from international football in 2007 following continued frustration at a lack of opportunities under Steve McClaren to focus on extending his club career, although he returned for England at the World Cup earlier this year. Fabio Capello's invitation to temporarily come out of international exile proved too mouth-watering to turn down and he featured twice in South Africa, before England's last-16 exit at the hands of Germany.

Carragher created his own piece of Kop history in the 2007/08 season by becoming the first player to represent the Reds 100 times in continental competition. He celebrated 16 years of service at Anfield in September with a charity fund-raising testimonial match against an Everton XI in September and signed a new two-year deal last month, which should see him see out his distinguished career with the Reds.

Carragher scored his seventh own goal in the English Premier League last month. Only Richard Dunne of Aston Villa with eight has done so more times. Carragher is married to his childhood sweetheart Nicola Hart. A Range Rover Sport is among Carragher's car collection.

FACTFILE Name: Jamie Carragher Position: Defender Club: Liverpool D.O.B: 28/01/1978 England Caps: 38 England Goals: 0 England Debut: v Hungary

Moment to remember: The 2005 Champions League final win over AC Milan saw Carragher etch his name into Anfield folklore.

Moment to forget: Scoring two own goals in a 3-2 home defeat to Manchester United.

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