By Stewart Fisher

STEVEN Gerrard paid tribute last night to the two-and-a-half-hour chat with Dave King which convinced him to join Rangers – and insisted the South Africa-based businessman would remain a crucial sounding board even once he steps down as chairman in March.

Speaking at the De Kuip stadium in Rotterdam, where the Ibrox side hope to clinch a victory tonight against Feyenoord which could see them qualify for the last 32 of the Europa League, Gerrard addressed Tuesday’s bombshell news from the club’s AGM, which saw King announce his intention to end his five-year reign at the club in the new year.

Picking up from the chaos of the Charles Green era, King has stabilising Rangers but one of his biggest achievements may have been talking the Liverpool legend into the “momentous decision” to start his managerial career there. He broke the news of his imminent departure over dinner on Saturday night but reassured him he would be remaining as a director and the club’s major shareholder for the foreseeable future.

“It was obviously a monumental decision for me in terms of where I was at,” said Gerrard. “With the level of experience I had, I needed someone who knew I was going to make mistakes but be someone I could speak to and be honest with.

“When we first met I could see his passion for the club and his determination to get it back to a respectable place. That the fans could be proud of the team again. We shared that same vision.

“He came to my house and we had two and a half hours together, chatting about Liverpool and Rangers as he is a fan of Liverpool too. For me the key is he’s still going to be there. He’s still going to be on the board and a shareholder there for me to bounce things off.”