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Liverpool hero to give 100th England shirt to dad

England's Steven Gerrard making his 100th appearance for England against Sweden. Photo credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire England's Steven Gerrard making his 100th appearance for England against Sweden. Photo credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Thursday, November 15, 2012
8:15 AM

Steven Gerrard will give the England shirt he wore when winning his 100th cap as a Christmas present to his father Paul.

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Three Lions captain Gerrard achieved the milestone during last night’s 4-2 defeat against Sweden in the Friends Arena.

He became only the sixth England player to reach a century of appearances.

Gerrard said: “To get there was a very proud moment for me.

“I have been really touched by all the support and all the good wishes I have had - from family, friends and everyone in the game.

“The shirt I wore during the game, I will give it to my dad. It will be a nice Christmas present for him.

“He has been with me since day one, shown me fantastic support. My dad has watched me kick a ball since I was seven.

“He always gave me the advice ‘you get out of your career what you put into it’ and I’ve always taken that on board.

“All the way through, I’ve made sacrifices and tried to work hard and, every time I go onto the pitch, I give it everything I’ve got.”

Gerrard insists he still has plenty more to offer his country at the age of 32 - 12 years after making his debut.

He said: “Are there more caps to go? Yes, I feel good, I feel fit, I’m happy with my form in an England shirt so on I go and I’m looking forward to the next game.”

Gerrard believes England can take plenty of positives from their performance in a game where six players were handed their debut.

England led 2-1 before Zlatan Ibrahimovic took centre stage with three late goals to take his tally in the match to four.

Gerrard said: “I thought we were terrific for large chunks of the game. There were a lot of positives.

“We did well for three quarters of the match and then we collapsed and fell away towards the end.

“I’m sure the manager will be happy with the character and the belief we showed even when we went behind.

“We kept fighting and got ourselves in front against a tough team who were well organised in front of their crowd.

“For three quarters of the game we were in control.

“The substitutes disrupted us but that happens in friendlies. I think overall it was a positive outcome.

“There is more reason to be optimistic with some of the individual performances of the night.”

Gerrard admitted the newly-laid surface in the Friends Arena was far from perfect.

He said: “I think we had trouble all night with our footing and controlling the ball, waiting for the ball to settle before you could pass it.

“But I think they are having teething problems with the surface like we had at Wembley to start with.

“I’m sure they will get it right but it is the same for both teams. We can’t look at the surface as an excuse.

“We’ve got to hold our hands up and say an individual performance from Ibrahimovic won them the game but there is no reason to be down.”

Gerrard looked at home in the holding role as England hit back to lead 2-1 through goals from Danny Welbeck and Steven Caulker before Ibrahimovic’s superb contribution.

He said: “I was really happy with how it went for me personally. I thought I did well.

“I was asked to play the holding role and felt comfortable.”

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