Steven Gerrard has penned an open letter to Liverpool fans ahead of a summer move to Major League Soccer, revealing that he has been humbled by their reaction to his imminent departure and reiterating his plan to return to Anfield in some capacity in future.
The former England midfielder has secured iconic status at Anfield since making his first-team debut under Gerard Houllier in November 1998, amassing over 700 appearances in all competitions and captaining the Reds to success in the Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup.
With Gerrard's latest contract winding down and the prospect of representing another European or Premier League club seemingly out of the question, the 36-year-old announced in January that he would be following a path previously trodden by ex-international colleague David Beckham and joining Los Angeles Galaxy on an 18-month deal.
Although his final two matches for Liverpool were somewhat tainted by disappointing defeats at the hands of Crystal Palace and Stoke, supporters were quick to show their appreciation for their long-serving skipper and it is a farewell he claims he will never forget.
"Saying goodbye hasn't been easy," Gerrard wrote in the Liverpool Echo on 27 May.
"Liverpool Football Club has been such a massive part of my life since I was eight years old and I know how much I'm going to miss it. It's been an emotional time for my family and I with my final game at Anfield against Crystal Palace and then my last appearance away to Stoke City.
"But I've been blown away by the send-off I've been given by the supporters and I'd like to thank every one of you. It's been very humbling and it's something I'll cherish for the rest of my life. It's been an absolute privilege to represent this football club for so long."
Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre has already spoken openly about the likelihood of Gerrard coming back to Liverpool after his time in the United States draws to a close, admitting that the door was certainly open for such a possibility and that the two parties have previously touched on the topic.
Just what role he would be interested in filling is unclear at this stage, although in the past he has made little secret of his interest in potentially taking over as manager when the job becomes available.
"I'll be away for the next couple of years but this isn't the end of my long association with Liverpool FC," he continued. "I've been a supporter all my life and that will continue. I hope to get the opportunity to come back and serve the club again one day. I feel that I can make a contribution in some role in the future."