Steven Gerrard lifted the Carling Cup aloft, and then admitted: “I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.”
Liverpool survived one of the most dramatic finals in history to claim a first trophy in six years after a pulsating penalty shoot-out triumph to give their skipper his moment of glory.
But he could only offer a heartfelt apology to his cousin Anthony afterwards, as the Cardiff defender missed the crucial spot-kick that ultimately cost the plucky underdogs a place in history.
England star Gerrard chose not to celebrate with the rest of the team when the Cardiff sub missed the final penalty, and instead raced over to Anthony to embrace the tearful defender.
It was a painful moment for the Reds’ captain, and he admitted afterwards he felt his cousin’s pain.
“I’ve mixed emotions,” he said. “Obviously I’m delighted to have won a trophy for our fans.
“But I feel for Anthony and what he is going through and for Cardiff. He’ll be beyond words, and be so down.
“I have been there, when I scored an own goal against Chelsea in the final a few years ago.
“I’ll be here for him after the game. All the family will be behind him.” Cardiff boss Malky Mackay defended the decision to let Gerrard take the kick against his boyhood idols, saying: “I don’t think Anthony will be feeling it any worse than any of the others.”
The autobiography ends with "I play for Jon-Paul." Gerrard's cousin, Jon-Paul Gilhooley, was killed in the 1989 Hillsborough Tragedy, when Gerrard was eight. Jon-Paul, who was 10 when he died, was the youngest of the 96 victims of the tragedy. "It was difficult knowing one of your cousins had lost his life," Gerrard said." Seeing his family's reaction drove me on to become the player I am today.
On 1 October 2007, Gerrard was involved in a low-speed accident in Southport when the car he was driving hit a ten-year-old cyclist, who had shot into the street and inadvertently cut off Gerrard's path. He later visited the boy in the hospital and presented him with a pair of boots signed by Wayne Rooney, the boy's favourite player, after which he stayed to sign autographs for other young patients.
God bless your beautiful soul, Steven Gerrard.