Trent Alexander-Arnold was six years old when Liverpool won the Champions League in 2005.
He was a hopeful youngster, a dreamer. “I was thinking, ‘that’s what I want to do one day’.
“We were all just standing on the wall outside, me and my mates, and playing footy in the front garden just waiting for them to come.
“Then you see all the players on the open-top bus going right past your house with the Champions League trophy. It was just unbelievable. You see your idols standing up there and you see a whole city so happy, and sitting in my mum’s car driving around seeing everywhere red.”
These days, many of his childhood ambitions have become a reality. Alexander-Arnold is a fixture in Jürgen Klopp’s squad and, after a breakthrough season last term, is competing with Joe Gomez for the right-back berth in the Liverpool XI.
His tally of 17 appearances so far in 2017-18 will increase by one this afternoon as the Reds continue their Premier League schedule against Southampton.
And the teenager heads to St Mary’s with words of praise from a hero of that aforementioned night in Istanbul fresh in his mind. “He’s going to get better and better,” Steven Gerrard commented this week.
Alexander-Arnold said: “I know what it feels like to watch a Scouser on the pitch so home-grown players are always good for the club.
“With him being my idol and being able to read those words was special. Whenever I’m in the Academy I’ll try to pick his brain on how I can get better.”
The England youth international was featured in the New York Times on Tuesday to help promote An Hour For Others, the Liverpool-based charity which aims to support those in need in the local community.
“It’s simple to give an hour but it can make a big difference to someone,” he explained.
“If you ever get in a position to influence and inspire the youth of the country, you should do it. That is how I have been brought up – to never give up, never take anything for granted.”