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The England captain received the Football Writers' Association Tribute Award at Sunday's gala dinner, where his team-mate underlined his importance to club and country

Jamie Carragher has hailed Steven Gerrard as Liverpool's "greatest ever player" following the midfielder claiming the Football Writers' Association Tribute Award.

The current England and Liverpool captain was chosen as the recipient of the FWA Tribute Award to mark his contribution to English football, with previous winners including Alan Shearer and George Best.

And Carragher, who has played alongside Gerrard since the latter made his first-team debut in 1998, spoke highly of the 32-year-old: "I think we are in the presence of the greatest player ever to play for Liverpool.

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"People will say I am biased because we are good friends and because of the trophies we have won together, but it is a fair accolade to give him.

"There are guys like Kenny Dalglish, Graeme Souness, Ian Rush, all world-class players, but the difference was they were in a world-class team - and Stevie has not played in a world-class team."

Gerrard has won the Champions League, Uefa Cup and two FA Cups and represented England 100 times during his time with the Merseyside club, recently being named as the Three Lions’ permanent skipper.

The midfielder has played every minute of Liverpool’s 23 league matches so far, scoring six goals including a trademark long-range effort in Saturday’s 5-0 win over Norwich City.

Carragher continued: "Stevie's one strength is he has no weakness, he can run, tackle pass and score goals. Football is a team game, but special players do special things at special times, and that is Steven Gerrard."

Gerrard thanked those in attendance, but was quick to turn attentions to Liverpool’s on-field goals this season after the win over the Canaries drew them level on points with sixth-placed Arsenal.

He added: "I feel very flattered and humbled. To receive this award from the Football Writers' Association is a very proud night for myself and my family.

"It means a lot because when you talk about awards of people who scrutinise your performances, these guys have followed me throughout my career, written about me whenever I have played, and know their football.

"I have always looked at personal awards as a bit of a bonus really. I always try to achieve things with Liverpool or fight to do well for England.

"It is a special year - the 150th anniversary for the FA as well, so there are some really big fixtures to look forward to. We are halfway through a World Cup qualifying campaign, so hopefully at the end of the season it can be a success for Liverpool to achieve something, and England can also make it through to the finals in Brazil."

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