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One of the first people I texted when the final whistle sounded last Thursday was Steven Gerrard

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At last, it has happened.

This will be one of the most enjoyable columns I have had the privilege of writing for the Sunday World as the moment has come to toast Liverpool Football Club as champions of England once again.

I drove to Anfield on the Friday morning after the title win was confirmed and it was fantastic to see so many fans walking the streets with No.19 on their backs and flags flying to hail a team of champions who will go down in history as one of the best teams we have ever seen in English football, with confirmation of their class now coming as their name is engraved onto that Premier League trophy.

All of us associated with Liverpool have played down the importance of ending this drought for a league title, with the Champions League wins and occasional cup successes moments to savour in recent years.

Yet we don’t have to hide from the reality that it has been 30 long years of hurt watching Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and latterly Manchester City sweeping up league titles that used to be taken for granted at Liverpool.

I was part of the 1987/88 Liverpool team that won the old First Division title with plenty to spare and we should have won it the following season, when we were denied by a last-minute goal from Arsenal – even though we were by far the best team over the course of that season.

Liverpool then won the title for an 18th time the following season and if you had told me back in 1990 that we would have to wait until 2020 to add No.19 to the record books, I would have been horrified at the prospect.

It was embarrassing for a club of Liverpool’s stature not to win the Premier League title for so long, especially when they got so close on numerous occasions and couldn’t quite get over the finishing line.

One of the first people I texted when the final whistle sounded on Manchester City’s title defence last Thursday was Steven Gerrard because he, more than anyone, tried everything in his considerable powers to bring this moment to pass.

It should have been his title-winning season six years ago, but the manner of that late collapse and the merciless mocking that followed for the greatest player ever to pull on a Liverpool shirt was hard to take.

Well, the critics are not laughing at Liverpool’s expense any more and Stevie would have loved to see the title-winning moment more than anyone.

I was with him in Madrid as Liverpool won the Champions League last year and to see how much that moment meant to him summed up that this club is in his heart, as it is for me and so many Reds fans on Merseyside and around the world.

There will no sense of jealousy on Stevie’s part towards these players after they achieved what he wanted so badly, because this football club doesn’t operate like that.

More so than most clubs, Liverpool is a family and when it gets into your heart and soul, you understand that it means so much more than just sport as it is about our community, our great city and celebrating a triumph that has been so long in coming.

I salute Jurgen Klopp and his team of heroes, who have not just won the Premier League title but have trampled all over their opponents with an air of brilliance that makes this title win seem even more special.

I’ve lost track of the amount of times I’ve gone to Anfield over the last three years and come away lifted up by the football Klopp and his players have served to their fans.

This team are currently European champions, UEFA Super Cup winners, World Club champions and now they are English champions.

Wow, what a list of achievements that is – and that is why I would use the word awesome to describe this team.

We all remember when Klopp came to the club back in 2015 and said he would win the title, with plenty of people laughing at him as they had got used to Liverpool failing.

It was a response that summed up what people thought of Liverpool back then.

They were a club that were always close to the big prizes, but they came up short when it mattered most.

At the time, I remember thinking it was a bold statement to target the Premier League title, but we quickly realised that Klopp was a special manager and the team around him who have worked on player recruitment have done a fantastic job in building this team of champions.

To have 86 points on the board with seven games still to play and to have shattered the spirit of a truly great Manchester City side is an achievement that cannot be underestimated and that is why I would now place Klopp in a very select band of Liverpool managers.

Bill Shankly will always be a cherished figure at the club because he put Liverpool on the map and set the standards that were continued by our most successful manager, the great Bob Paisley.

Now, Klopp has cemented his place on that list of celebrated Liverpool managers after he became the man who ended the wait for a league title and did it in a style that no-one will ever forget.

I got a chance to say a quick hello to Jurgen at Anfield on Friday and I would thank him and his players for everything they have given to the fans of our great club over the last few years.

They know how grateful we are to them for their efforts and hopefully there will be a chance at some point in the near future for the team to celebrate this moment with the fans.

We all agree that 2020 has been pretty miserable so far, but Liverpool fans have something to smile about now and having waited this long for No.19 to arrive, I can confirm it tastes very sweet.




For more news relating to Manchester City, visit our sister site MCFC Live.
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