Liverpool skipper Gerrard: Hibbert genuine Everton fans favourite

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is delighted his long-time mate Tony Hibbert is set to play for Everton today at Wembley against FA Cup semifinal opponents Manchester United.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is delighted his long-time mate Tony Hibbert is set to play for Everton today at Wembley against FA Cup semifinal opponents Manchester United.

Gerrard told the Mail on Sunday: "Tony is to Everton what me and Jamie Carragher are to Liverpool.

"There is a connection with the fans and it is important for both clubs to have local players coming through. I like nothing better than putting the telly on and if Everton are playing, seeing Tony doing well. He is still a good mate.

"Even at a young age you knew he would play at a really high level. We started in the same team and I thought he was a fantastic player. He was tough as a kid but I think that's the way you get brought up in Huyton, to be a tough tackler and give everything you've got.

"I also know Tony's dad and he has a similar mentality to my dad in the sense that they want you to go out and give everything.

"A lot of players have come out of Huyton. There is a passion for football there. Kids are out on the street playing football every chance they get. There are good amateur teams, too, so you have the chance to play at the weekends and improve yourself."