Jordan Henderson lifted the European Cup in June as Liverpool became champions of Europe—but has now revealed he offered to let two others join in.
The captain lifting the trophy naturally, because of the occasion, goes on to become one of the iconic images in Liverpool history.
It was the same with Steven Gerrard and those who came before him, and Henderson added to that in Madrid with a perfect, emotional lift of his own.
It’s a quite amazing statement that he’d willingly forgo his moment of glory, especially after several seasons of doubts from some quarters, but it speaks volumes not just of the type of player Henderson is, but also of the esteem in which parts of this Liverpool squad hold each other.
“That night was not about me lifting the trophy. I felt me, Millie and the gaffer should have lifted it together,” the No. 14 explained.
“The photo would have meant the same if the manager was lifting the trophy and I was stood behind him. It was more about the team. When I look back and see the faces of the lads, that’s what means more to me.
“I asked Millie and the gaffer because I felt as though Millie is a big part of the squad.”
But Henderson’s suggestion wasn’t so well received by Milner, who responded: “If anyone other than you lifts up that trophy they are getting f**king wrestled to the ground.”
While Henderson eventually lifted ole’ Big Ears alone, there is certainly precedent for lifting it together. Back in the Gerard Houllier reign, an injured Jamie Redknapp missed much of the season and he, Sami Hyypia and Robbie Fowler shared trophy-lifting duties when silverware came with frequency in 2001.
Steven Gerrard also left Jamie Carragher to lift the European Super Cup in 2005, in respect of the vice-captain’s contributions.
The same feelings are apparent from Henderson toward Milner, and of course to Klopp, who has helped put the Reds back at the top of European football.
“I know I wear the armband when I play but he wore it a lot as well when I haven’t been playing.
“He is a big part of the dressing room. He is the most experienced player and won a lot of trophies. I feel as though without him it would have been different.
“And what we did that night wouldn’t have been possible without the manager, and I felt as though he deserved to do that. But he said no.”
In the end, it was surely the right move from Milner and Klopp to leave Henderson to his duties as captain, but the bigger picture is the trust and belief which runs throughout the squad.
It will stand them in good stead this season to go again and challenge on all fronts, and we continue to see evidence of the tight-knit nature of the team which has taken us so far under Jurgen.