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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 February, 2004, 07:48 GMT
Steven Gerrard becomes a father
Liverpool's Steven Gerrard
Joy for first-time dad Steven Gerrard
England and Liverpool footballer Steven Gerrard is celebrating after becoming a father for the first time.

The 23-year-old missed Wednesday's England friendly against Portugal so he could be with his partner Alex Curran.

Alex, 21, gave birth to their daughter, Lilly-Ella who weighed in at 7lb 1oz, late on Monday.

Steven said: "We are both absolutely delighted and I am pleased to say both mum and baby are in perfect health and doing very well."

Gerrard, from Whiston, Merseyside, added: "We are both overwhelmed."

Having come up through the Liverpool ranks, Gerrard, who has 21 international caps, signed a four-year contract last November reportedly worth 60,000 a week.

The attacking midfielder has been widely tipped to be one of Sven Goran Eriksson's key players in Euro 2004 in the summer.

He has performed consistently well scoring three goals this season, despite Liverpool's often below-par efforts.

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