Steven Gerrard is leaving Liverpool this summer and Twitter is very emotional

The club's #CaptainFantastic has announced he will depart Anfield when his current contract expires – and social media has been awash with tributes...

After 17 seasons, 695 games and 180 goals, Steven Gerrard has announced he will play his final match for Liverpool Football Club when his contract expires this summer.

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The 34-year-old Merseyside-born midfielder – who made his Liverpool debut in 1998 – released a statement, calling his move from the club “the toughest decision of my life”, and confirming he would not play for a competing side as “that is something I could never contemplate”.

“Liverpool Football Club has been such a huge part of all our lives for so long and saying goodbye is going to be difficult,” said Gerrard, “but I feel it’s something that’s in the best interests of all involved, including my family and the club itself.”

Clearly an emotional time for Gerrard, but also for former colleagues and his many supporters who took to Twitter in their droves to express their gratitude and upset at their esteemed captain’s impending departure.

There was pride…

Tears.

Former colleagues tweeted their tributes to #CaptainFantastic:

And the pundits weighed in with their verdicts on Stevie G’s departure.

Some decided humour was the best remedy during this dark time…

While others were bewildered by Twitter’s fragile state:

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But most of all, there was gratitude to one of Liverpool’s greatest ever players.