"I hope it doesn't affect the reception, I think he deserves a great one for what he did for Liverpool," said the centre-back.
"He was a fantastic player - right up there with the greats for what he did.
"He left in difficult circumstances but when he went to Manchester United his career was on a bit of a downward spiral, he'll admit that himself.
"The chance to go to one of the biggest clubs of the world was difficult to turn down.
"He moved and upset some people but he had to do what was right for himself and his family.
"His kids were just starting school and he wanted to move back home so that came into it as well.