NOVEMBER 29. The first chimpanzee is launched into Earth orbit.
Atari announces the release of Pong, the first commercially successful video game. CS Lewis born. George Harrison dies.
And Steven Gerrard makes his Liverpool debut.
Back in 1998, a fresh-faced youngster from Huyton trotted on from the bench to play the final few seconds of a routine 2-0 home win over Blackburn Rovers.
Now, 14 years later, Gerrard continues to be at the heart of matters for Liverpool – and shows no signs of easing down just yet despite being in his 33rd year.
In a landmark season that has already seen the midfielder win his 100th cap for England and join the select band of players to have made 600 appearances for Liverpool, there is another statistic, while not quite as glamorous, that’s worth considering.
Only once before has Gerrard made more appearances at this stage of a season – in 2006-07 – than the present campaign in which no other Liverpool man has played more.
Not bad for someone whose recent performances in a defensive midfield role have prompted a furious, and evidently premature, debate over whether he retains much influence in the Liverpool team under Brendan Rodgers.
“Steven has been brilliant,” says the Anfield manager. “He has been fit and playing games and recovering really well. I am so happy to have someone like that in the group because he is a phenomenal player and a great presence for us.
“He will get better and better and better. He had an injury last year but now we are just managing him through that and getting his recovery right.
“Steven’s one that will fit into the team’s balance when we haven’t got the ball but there’s been nothing different asked really, because it is the responsibility of the midfield player to get forward and get a goal.
“Playing in the 4-3-3 you’ve got one pivot and two advanced players and it’s really those two we want to get in the box and scoring goals and that gives us five attacking players all the time with your front three. That’s his instinct. The great thing is he wants to penetrate.”
Glen Johnson, a team-mate both at club and international level, also has no doubt over the difference made by Gerrard’s ongoing presence.
“He has been fantastic for many years for club and country,” says the right-back. “To achieve his 100th cap for England as captain will have meant a lot too. He’s the main man in respect of wearing the armband.
“As such there are probably a few more eyes on him than anybody else and to have handled that the way he does is a credit to the man. Nobody deserves it more.”
Gerrard will lead Liverpool out once again on Saturday with the Anfield outfit looking to build on their recent improving form at home to promoted Southampton.
Rodgers has already spoken this week of how the skipper has perhaps subconsciously tailored his game to help babysit the gaggle of youngsters that have burst onto the first-team scene this season, particularly fellow midfielders Raheem Sterling and Suso.
Not since 1949 had Liverpool drawn seven of their first 13 games, and Johnson accepts the reliance on so many teenagers week after week is not ideal.