A month-long skysports.com survey asked football fans to look back on the 35 men to win the trophy since Norman Hunter became the first man to lift it in 1974.
More than 300,000 votes were cast during the five weeks of voting and after whittling them down to a shortlist of eight famous players, Liverpool captain Gerrard emerged as the winner.
The England midfielder, who won the PFA Players' Player of the Year award in 2005/06 when he famously helped Liverpool win the FA Cup with a memorable goal in the final against West Ham, picked up more than 150,000 votes in the final round of voting.
Former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry - who won the PFA award in both 2002/03 and 2003/04 - finished second and former Aston Villa defender Paul McGrath was third.
The nominees for the 2012/13 PFA Players' Player of the Year will be announced at midday on Friday April 19 with the ceremony to be held at Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, on Sunday April 28.
Sky Sports will screen coverage of the ceremony the following night (Monday April 29) at 10.30pm on Sky Sports 1 HD.
Sky Sports' PFA 40 Years poll - final eight
1. Steven Gerrard (2006 winner)
2. Thierry Henry (2003 and 2004)
3. Paul McGrath (1993)
4. Norman Hunter (1974)
5. Dennis Bergkamp (1998)
6. Kenny Dalglish (1983)
7. Gary Lineker (1986)
8. Kevin Keegan (1982)