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Steven Gerrard apologised to Adebayo Akinfenwa before curling in stunning free-kick winner

Josh Lawless

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Steven Gerrard apologised to Adebayo Akinfenwa before curling in stunning free-kick winner

Featured Image Credit: Image: Adebayo Akinfenwa & FATV

Adebayo Akinfenwa has told the brilliant tale about the time Steven Gerrard apologised to him before curling in a free-kick winner.

The retired striker, who became a cult hero thanks to his 'Beast Mode' mindset and went on to play in the Championship with Wycombe Wanderers, is a staunch Liverpool fan.

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He got a special message off Jurgen Klopp after earning promotion in 2020, while he also received a fine for wearing a Liverpool shirt to training following their first league title for 30 years.

Akinfenwa, who was told he was too big to play football, even called out Sergio Ramos for injuring Mo Salah in the 2018 Champions League final.

Back in 2015, Akinfenwa had a dream fixture to look forward to when his side AFC Wimbledon drew Liverpool in the FA Cup third round.

Image: Alamy
Image: Alamy

The Dons had beaten York City and Wycombe in the previous two rounds to set up the huge clash at Plough Lane.

Gerrard opened the scoring 12 minutes in with a header but Akinfenwa stabbed home the equaliser in the 36th minute and was mobbed his teammates in some great scenes.

Wimbledon churned in a strong showing but in the end it was a moment of sheer quality from Gerrard that made the difference - and he told Akinfenwa, "Sorry big man" just before he produced it.

Image: Alamy
Image: Alamy

Speaking on William Hill’s Stripped podcast, Akinfenwa said: “People ask who the best player I’ve played against is. It’s Stevie G. And not just because he is my idol, it’s because, 20 minutes into that game [AFC Wimbledon 1-2 Liverpool], it looked like he had just decided, ‘I’m bored now, let’s go and score.’

“He picked the ball up on the halfway line, put it out wide, got in the box and headed it in. That’s what it felt like.

“Later Stevie had a free-kick, and as I walked past him, as he’s putting the ball down he says, ‘sorry big man.’ I look at him like whatever. He puts the ball down and bends it over the wall. The second goal of the game, they win 2-1, and I miss the chance to go back to Anfield.”


Gerrard also cleared one off the line in the game prior to his set-piece strike, which he just knew he was going to score.

Akinfenwa was denied his dream of playing at Anfield but as a sweetener he received Gerrard's shirt - doing his best to pre-arrange it through former teammate Joe Allen.

However, he was so desperate to get it that he even threatened his Wimbledon colleagues if they got in his way.

He continued: “I told everyone that I was going to get Gerrard’s shirt. I loved my Wimbledon team-mates but I threatened them. I won’t sugar-coat it. I said, ‘if any of you ask for Stevie G’s shirt, there’s going to be a problem.’ I played with Joe Allen at Swansea, who was at Liverpool at the time, so I gave him a call and arranged it prior.

“I said, ‘tell Stevie that the big man wants his shirt.’ And he text me back saying, ‘Stevie says he’s got you.’ I told the Wimbledon boys it will be a straight-up misunderstanding if you take his shirt. But Stevie was a man of his word and we embraced afterwards, and then I showed the world that he gave it to me.”

Topics: Steven Gerrard, Liverpool, Adebayo Akinfenwa

Josh Lawless
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