A letter from Luis Garcia

Dear Reds,

First of all I'd like to apologise for not having been back in touch sooner, but I needed to take some time to take on board all the recent changes and then to put down these words for you.

I'm sure you will understand.

I would rather this be a letter of thanks and gratitude, not simply a goodbye.

Yes, thats right, gratitude, because that is the word that best sums up my feelings for you all.

Taking the decision to change clubs hasn't been easy. Not easy at all.

I've experienced three fantastic years at the club and in the city. Three years in which together, the fans and the team, we have accomplished some fantastic achievements, and I'm sure that these successes will continue to be repeated in the near future.

You know that I like a challenge and that I don't just settle for second best.

Back then Liverpool Football Club gave me the opportunity to be part of an ambitious plan to put the Reds back at the summit of the game.

I think that together we managed to achieve that.

As I said, I do like challenges and in spite of the fact that at that time I was playing for my home town club, one of the biggest in the world, I wanted to be a part of that project that was being presented to me by Liverpool, and so I accepted the challenge.

Now, after three seasons in the Premier League and having won some major trophies, the chance came up for me to return to La Liga and be part of a new project at a club I already knew.

The idea of enjoying things in a Spanish club like we experienced together at Liverpool over these last three years appealed to me, and thats why I accepted the offer.

I want to thank everyone working at Liverpool Football Club for how well they have treated both my family and I, making us feel at home from the very first day to the last.

I also want to thank the management, coaching staff and directors for the opportunity they gave me back then to be part of such an important and well-loved club as Liverpool. A club which has helped me to grow as a footballer and where to date I have enjoyed the biggest success of my career.

Without a doubt, this success has been possible thanks to the outstanding group of players with whom Ive been able to share a dressing room over the last three seasons.

I'm not going to mention anyone specifically, because I think that the secret of this team's success has been exactly that: nobody wanted to stand out above the rest and there has always been a great togetherness in the squad, which made it into something more than a group of players, it was a group of friends.

Thanks to all of you for your help and your friendship.

I've left until last the thank you which for me is the most important: Thank you to the supporters.

Your support allowed me to settle quickly at both the club and in the city, and you made me feel really at ease with you all right from the word go; that's the kind of help that you notice most of all during the difficult times, of which there have been a few during my time here.

I'd like to especially thank you for making up a song for me and you should know that every time I heard you singing it, it was like an extra injection of strength and motivation, even helping me to overcome pain occasionally during a game.

Your unconditional support is the thing that ensures that this team manages to pull through in the most difficult circumstances; and I can assure you that the whole squad is aware of this and thanks you for it.

A football club isn't just made up of players, coaches and directors. More than anything else it's the supporters who make a club, and that perhaps is the ingredient which best distinguishes Liverpool Football Club from every other team. The supporters.

Because if one thing has remained obvious to me after these few years, it's that with supporters like you, Liverpool Football Club will never walk alone.

I really hope that the club wins lots of major trophies in the future; I'll be following it all from a distance, with the pride that you can only get from having been a Red and played for the home team at Anfield – a ground that every football fan must visit at least once in their life.

Thank you for everything. Yours most sincerely,

Your friend, Luís García


Luis Garcia's touching letter to has got Reds fans across the world talking, and one thing's for sure: if he wasn't already seen as a legend, he is now.
Here's a selection of your thoughts left on our message boards since the letter's publication yesterday.

Garcia has carved his name on the tree of Anfield legends, and it's fitting that he has written this letter. It shows the measure of him as a man.

Always seemed to score in the biggest games. He'll be missed, no doubt, but he'll always be one of us.

That letter has made my day even though it has made me cry. And I don't mind admitting that. What a fantastic thing to do, it really means so much to know how he felt and still feels about this club, its players/staff and especially us, the supporters. Still quite choked up, not aware of any player having done anything like this before. What a truly great bloke - humble, genuine, and understanding of what it means to be a red. I know the term gets used far too much but he is simply a legend and I will never ever forget him. I love him to bits and will continue to wear my shirt (with his name on) with pride. I will follow his progress at Atletico and I really hope he does well there. Thank you Luis. You are one in a million. YNWA.

One of my fave players...and a lovely gesture from Luis. Never seen anything like it. I have even more respect for the guy. Would love to see him return here on a European night - he'd get a great reception. Thanks for the memories, Luis.

If there was one player that won us the Champions League in 2005 it was Luis. Without his goals against Leverkusen, Juventus and Chelsea we wouldn't have even got to the final. Yes, Stevie scored against Olympiacos and in the final, but Luis was the main man of that tournament.

Is this the first time a player has done this? Irrespective, it's a wonderful thing to do - outstanding! May you have all the success in the world Luis. Once a red, always a red.

Absolutely top drawer. Pulled goals out of the bag when they were needed and added a little bit of class to the team. Good Luck and remember: YNWA.

King Kenny, Stevie, Hansen, Keegan, Hughes and Rush are demi-gods that came down from heaven to bless us with their footballing prowess, but the contribution that Luis made to our club will also be the stuff of legend. People will always talk about that goal against Chelsea and that volley against Juve. Stevie may have got us through to the knockout stages but Luis won us the CL and for that he is a legend. Luis's flame may have been short but it burned bright.

That's such a great message from the wee-man. I've never seen anyone do that before and feel quite moved by it. Really wish him every luck for the future.

That is a wonderful letter and brings a tear to my eye. God bless you Luis, you will always be one of us. I don't think I've ever seen a player make a gesture like this and it just shows what a top bloke you are. Thanks Luis.

Legend. What a guy - it's nice to see a footballer appreciate the support and what the club has done for him, and to put that in words. Most of the time players leave and it's like they don't care. This is one of the reasons why I loved Garcia - top bloke.

I hope Atletico can qualify for the CL next season and we get them in the group stages, just so we can all sing the Luis song again and show him how much he meant to us!

Top bloke. I hope he can do a lot of thumb sucking in Spain – good luck!

Class - pure and simple. That letter had me choking up with pride and struggling to stem the flow of a few tears. For all those who say foreign players don't know what it means to be a red - this shows that it's the person that counts, not the accent. Why have they taken our Luis away?

Cheers Luis. Still remember your goal against Juventus in the Champions League quarter final. That was a good night. Hope you and your family enjoy it in Madrid and you're always welcome back to Liverpool.

He really didn't have to do that, especially in a time of the football mercenary. It shows the class of the man. All the very best to you, Luis Garcia. You have a special place in Liverpool folklore.

I hope the Atletico fans appreciate him just as much as we do! Thank you for three great years little Luis.

Jimmy Rice 22 August 2007

Luis Garcia's open letter to Liverpool fans caused quite a reaction amongst supporters when it was published on the club's official website on Tuesday – so much so, we decided to ask you to write a reply.

We were bombarded with letters on our message boards – all of which will now be forwarded to the little Spaniard in Madrid. The best effort has also been published below.

Dear Luis,

From your very first appearance we knew you would be a special player for us.

Whenever you stepped on to the pitch an air of expectation and excitement filled the ground. We never knew what you were going to do and sometimes I'm not sure that you did either...but that just made it more fun watching you!

You have a special skill and the confidence and audacity to try different things - I liked that in you.

Everybody talks about your special goals: the ones against Juventus and of course Chelsea, and that last-gasp effort against Arsenal when you came off the bench to win it for us.

If you did nothing else but score that famous goal to knock Chelsea out of the CL and take us to Istanbul on that most special of Anfield nights, you would still have been a legend to us Luis, but you gave us so many more memories.

My extra special memories of you are the way you were always first to grab the ball out of the net when we scored in Istanbul - eager to get on with the greatest comeback in the history of football; the way you played on against Everton when you were injured and the way you were always so eager to take a penalty. The joy on your face when you travelled around the city after Istanbul will always stay with me.

These moments told me what your letter finally confirmed - you knew what it takes and what it means to be a Red on the pitch and on the terraces - you wore our shirt with pride and determination.

For this Luis I will never forget you and would like to say a huge 'thank-you' for all you have done for our club. I wish you every success in your new club and health and happiness to you and your family and friends in Spain.

We will still sing your song and maybe one day you will come back to Anfield and hear it sung again.

Thank-you, Luis - You Will Never Walk Alone

Speedy1, LFC.TV message boards

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