Alan Pardew has detailed how an exchange with Steven Gerrard after the 2006 FA Cup final convinced him that the Liverpool legend was ‘a special person’.

Pardew was managing West Ham United when they faced the Reds 16 years ago at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff in a showpiece event that will go down in history as one of the greatest ever.

VIDEO: Relive Liverpool legend Steve Gerrard's SENSATIONAL FA Cup final goal v West Ham 10 years on

Gerrard scored a sensational strike against West Ham

He lifted the trophy but saved time to speak to Pardew after the game


He lifted the trophy but saved time to speak to Pardew after the game

The Hammers took a shock 2-0 lead that afternoon, before the game was drawn level at 2-2 with Gerrard getting the goal.

West Ham then took the lead again through Paul Konchesky, before Gerrard clawed the game back once again with a wonderful long-range volley that soared past Shaka Hislop in the Irons’ goal.

With the scores level at 3-3, the game ended up going to penalties, with Liverpool coming out victorious and West Ham coming away from the thriller feeling down and despondent.

As Rafa Benitez’s side celebrated their victory, Pardew was pondering what had just happened when he was approached by Gerrard in a moment that showed the now-Aston Villa boss’s class.

Speaking to The Sun, Pardew said: “He was very humble to me after the game. He knew we had come so close. He came up to me and he wasn’t full of beans, jumping around. Nothing like that.

“He just said ‘it was our day and sorry for you guys’. I have always respected him for that. It takes a special person to do that after they have beaten you in a Cup final.

Pardew was gutted to lose on penalties as his West Ham side lost out to Liverpool

Pardew was gutted to lose on penalties as his West Ham side lost out to Liverpool

“He made a point of coming to me on the pitch, he walked over and said that to me and those moments, even in defeat, remain.

“There were only two words I could say — ‘thank you’. Then I added ‘go and enjoy your celebrations’.

“It was still in the back of my mind when he got the manager’s job at Rangers and now at Villa.

“What he did speaks volumes for him. Hearing him talk in interviews proves he has all the tools to be a top manager.

Classic video: Steven Gerrard's stunner in the 2006 FA Cup final

Gerrard’s stunner made the difference on the day

“You have to be humble. You don’t win all the time. More often than not you lose unless you are at a big club.

“It was painful because we lost but not because of our  performance.

“We did a great job, we were thirty seconds or so away from it. It would have been a game changer for West Ham and me personally. I am still proud of the team that played that day.”

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