Steven Gerrard. He is one of the most familiar faces in English football, but one perhaps who has never quite gotten the medals in his personal trophy cabinet which he has deserved.
After seventeen years with Liverpool, he finally looks as if he is going to get his hands on the elusive league title.
Following on from an emotional weekend in the Premier League, bookmakers have taken overwhelming interest in him becoming the 2014 Sports Personality of the Year.
We are still a good eight months away from finding out who picks up the BBC gong this year, the award being handed out in December. But Boylesports, Ireland’s largest independent bookmaker had to enact a huge price shift on Gerrard winning the award. Having been sitting out in anonymity of a 33/1 shot for the Sports Personality of the Year Award, the Liverpool captain is now is 13/8 favourite.
Once again he has been the engine room in the heart of the Liverpool midfield, putting in big, dedicated performances in helping his side make a push towards the league title. Liverpool were outside shots at the start of the season to get their hands on the Premier League crown, well distant from the supremacy of Man City and Chelsea.
It’s not just all about performances. If it is for sports personality, then Steven Gerrard, not afraid to show his true emotions on a big afternoon at Anfield on Sunday, may have captured a lot of votes already. His tears after the win over Manchester City, three points which could be a defining moment in their title challenge, put him front and centre of attention.
With the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster on his mind, a tragic event in which Gerrard lost a 10 year old cousin, the emotion was there on the face of the Liverpool captain.
Gerrard said “The reason I was so emotional was because of when this game fell.
“It wasn’t just because it was a big match in our season, it was because this week is always about more than football for everyone associated with Liverpool.
“It’s emotional for so many people. I’m speaking on behalf of everyone when I say the win was dedicated to the victims and families of Hillsborough.
If he can guide Liverpool to their first Premier League title and thereby crowning his inspirational captain role, it would certainly help his cause in winning the Sports Personality of the Year title. There could be more on the cards as he will be turning out for England at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in the summer.
There’s a long way to go, but with F1 driver Lewis Hamilton his nearest competitor in the market at 4/1, Gerrard is being heavily backed right now.
Liam Glynn, PR Executive at Boylesports said “We have had to react quickly and cut Steven Gerrard into 13/8 on Tuesday morning as the money keeps coming in for the Liverpool player. We laid him at 33/1 on Tuesday morning and our traders smelt a rat and cut him into 12/1 and within twenty minutes we have had to cut him into the clear 13/8 favourite as the support kept coming.”
He added “No doubt if Liverpool can manage to win the Premier League this season we would expect Steven Gerrard’s price to shorten even further but certainly all that punters want on Tuesday morning is a bit of the Liverpool player.”