As he closes in on clinching that cherished crown as Rangers manager, Gerrard has paid a heartfelt tribute to the man he has regarded as his mentor since taking the job.
Walter Smith was involved in 13 title wins for the Ibrox club - three as assistant-manager to Graeme Souness and then 10 over two spells in charge himself. The 73-year-old maintains a passionate and close interest in Rangers which has seen him exert an informal but telling influence in the form of wise counsel to Gerrard.
“Walter is someone I have the utmost respect for,” reflects Gerrard. “He is an iconic figure at this club, a successful manager.
“It is an unofficial mentorship, if you like - I don’t even think Walter knows he is doing it.
“I’ve had the pleasure of his company around lockdown, it’s been more difficult during lockdown.
“But he is someone I have spoken to a lot on the phone. He has a real connection with the League Managers’ Association and has been a big help to me.
“I bounce a lot of stuff off him and he always has plenty of time for me and my coaches. So I don’t even think he knows he is being a mentor but he has been fantastic for me.”