Steven grew up on the Bluebell estate in Huyton. Here he is pictured with his elder brother Paul.

The Road to Glory

Chapter 1 The Journey Begins

It was in the little square in front of Steven’s house on Ironside Road in the Bluebell Estate of Huyton, Liverpool that his first football battles were won. They may not be as well known as the glory nights at Anfield, Wembley, or the Ataturk stadium, but for Steven they were just as important then as those world famous occasions would be later.

For it was on these streets outside his home where that passion, that self-belief, that drive to win, were gleaned and fostered.

And right from the start it was obvious to see. He soon found himself playing with his elder brother, Paul, in the primary school team two years above his age group.

It was Ben McIntrye, manager of Whiston Juniors, Steven’s local Sunday league team, who first brought him to the attention of Dave Shannon, Hugh McAuley and Steve Heighway at Liverpool’s Centre of Excellence.

They invited him in for a trial at the tender age of eight. And the rest is history.

"Steven came in that night and it was funny because, as coaches, when you see something a bit special you don’t need to speak. You sort of look and make eye contact with each other."

Hugh McAuley

"He was just different. From the first minute Stevie was special. It was natural talent."

Dave Shannon

"Steven’s love for LFC was something that really shone through. We saw him develop from an enthusiastic boy into a world-class player."

Steve Heighway

A Winner's Mentality

Read any of the tributes that fellow professionals pay to Steven and you will find a pattern repeating: his passion, his drive, his desire to win.

It is almost a childlike mentaility. Win at all costs, defeat brings an unbearable pain.

It was all honed playing alongside his brother Paul, and his older mates, in the streets outside his house in Huyton.


"I don’t think the way I play now and the way I played on the streets as a lad is too different. I have always wanted to win any game of football I play."

Steven

"I thought when Steven first came to Melwood that he looked a bit skinny and you weren’t sure whether he was ready to get stuck in with the first team. But straight away he showed us that he definitely was. He was really, really tough. He threw himself into tackles and he didn’t hold back at all."

Veggard Heggem, Liverpool 1998-2003

The Path To Glory

Chapter 1 The Journey Begins

Up Close and Personal

Up Close and Personal

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