This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
Jamie Carragher has today called time on the remarkable story of a home-grown hero.
At the end of the season the inspirational centre-back from Bootle will part company with Liverpool Football Club and hang up his boots.
When Carragher goes, he will leave a gaping hole which in truth will probably never be filled.
Put simply, he's one of the greatest servants in the club's illustrious 121-year history.
His tally of 723 appearances speaks volumes with only Ian Callaghan having represented Liverpool on more occasions.
For the past 16 years he has provided the Scouse heartbeat of the Liverpool side. Fiercely proud of his roots and totally dedicated to the cause, he has been the perfect role model for youngsters aspiring to follow in his footsteps.
Many supporters will be shocked by the timing of his announcement. After all in recent weeks he has regained his place in Brendan Rodgers' backline at Martin Skrtel's expense.
Carragher has started the past three Premier League matches and proved in last weekend's 2-2 draw at champions Manchester City just how much he still has to offer at the highest level.
However, with his current contract due to expire at the end of the season and no new deal currently on the table, Carragher has moved quickly to end speculation about his future.
It's typical of the man that he didn't want his future providing an unwelcome distraction to the serious business of Liverpool chasing Europa League glory and a Champions League spot between now and May.
For him this is no time for reflection as over the coming months Carragher, who turned 35 last month, will still have a key role to play as he looks to sign off in style.
What a fitting tribute it would be if the Reds could send him off with another addition to a remarkable trophy haul which boasts the Champions League, two FA Cups, three League Cups, the UEFA Cup and two UEFA Super Cups.
It's been some journey for the boyhood Evertonian, who joined Liverpool's youth system at the age of nine.
From his days at the Football Association's School of Excellence at Lilleshall and as a member of Liverpool FA Youth Cup winning side of 1996, he had been touted as one to watch and Roy Evans handed him his debut as a teenager in a League Cup tie at Middlesbrough in January 1997.
He marked his first start by heading home a corner in front of the Kop against Aston Villa.
It would become a collector's item with his overall goal tally for the club standing at five.
Under Gerard Houllier, Carragher blossomed with the defender playing a starring role in the Treble winning campaign of 2001.
He was Mr Versatile, slotting in effortlessly at both right-back and left-back and it was only when Rafa Benitez took over in 2004 that he became a mainstay in his favoured central role.
The Champions League final in Istanbul in 2005 was undoubtedly Carragher's finest hour.
His never-say-die spirit was encapsulated by the manner in which he dragged his cramp-stricken body around in extra time, throwing himself into tackles and making vital blocks on his mission to repel Milan's advances.
The abiding memory is of him leading the charge to Jerzy Dudek's goal following the penalty shootout triumph.
At the time there was no better centre-back in Europe. A keen student of the game, Carragher has always wanted to learn and improve.
He has been the model professional.
His efforts were rewarded with a testimonial in 2010 with the match against Everton at Anfield generating £1million for the 23 Foundation - the charity Carragher set up to help youngsters across Merseyside.
Last season under Kenny Dalglish, he lost his place due to injury and on his return to fitness he found he was no longer a guaranteed starter.
However, he simply knuckled down and vowed to fight for his spot. Warming the bench was a bitter pill to swallow having been a cornerstone of the Liverpool side for so long but typically Carragher never rocked the boat.
The League Cup final against Cardiff City last February was his first taste of a Wembley final and after coming off the bench to help the Reds clinch the trophy it was clear for all to see just how much it meant to him as he took his son James on the lap of honour.
The tributes to him from Rodgers have been glowing this season and the manager has backed up those words of praise by recalling him in recent weeks.
However, Rodgers must now plan for the future without him. He will be sorely missed, not only on the pitch but off it as well. He has always worn his heart on his sleeve and the dressing room will certainly be a quieter place.
The Kop sing about dreaming of 'A Team of Carraghers' but come May Liverpool won't even have one to fall back on.
That will be a day for sadness but also one for celebration. Players like Jamie Carragher are a rare breed and Kopites have been hugely fortunate to count him as one of their own.