Steven Gerrard has expressed his thanks to Rangers after leaving the club to become Aston Villa’s new manager.
Gerrard has been appointed by the Midlands club as successor to Dean Smith, who was sacked on Sunday.
The Englishman leaves Glasgow after three-and-a-half years, during which he revamped the squad and led them to last season’s Premiership title.
After signing a three-and-a-half year contract at Villa, Gerrard thanked Rangers for his time at the club, which was his first job as manager after a stellar career.
“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everybody associated with Glasgow Rangers for giving me the opportunity to manage such an iconic football club,” he said.
“Helping them secure a record-breaking 55th league title will always hold a special place in my heart.
“I would like to wish the players, staff and supporters the very best for the future.”
The former Liverpool captain said: “Aston Villa is a club with a rich history and tradition in English football and I am immensely proud to become its new head coach.
“In my conversations with Nassef, Wes and the rest of the board, it was apparent how ambitious their plans are for the club and I am looking forward to helping them achieve their aims.”
Writing later on his Instagram account, Gerrard added: “”I want to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone associated with Glasgow Rangers, especially the fans, for the love and support you’ve all shown me during my time in Scotland.
“Winning ’55’ will always hold a special place in my heart – each and every one of you played a part in that and, believe me, there will be many more to come.
“I hope in time you can understand and accept my decision to move on but I honestly fell in love with the club and will always follow the team.
“Once a Ranger, always a Ranger #55.”
Aston Villa chief executive Christian Purslow, who previously worked with Gerrard at Anfield, said: “Since moving into coaching after his illustrious playing career, Steven began by managing and developing top young players in the Liverpool FC Academy which is experience we value highly at Aston Villa.
“He then took the brave decision to test himself in the intense and high pressured environment of the Scottish Old Firm. His subsequent achievement in winning the Premiership title with Glasgow Rangers really caught our eye as did his experience in Europe.
“It has been very clear in our discussions with him that Steven’s coaching ambitions, philosophy and values entirely match those of Aston Villa.”
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