The day of June 9, 2021, marks a total of 10 years since Jordan Henderson signed on the dotted line at Liverpool Football Club. Few could have predicted what would soon follow.
As turbulent rides go, Henderson’s at Anfield has not been short of bumps in the road but he’s come out the other side to see his name etched forever into club folklore.
Kenny Dalglish was the man making the moves back in 2011, and his first signing that summer would be to poach a then 20-year-old Henderson from his boyhood club, Sunderland.
The £16 million price tag would weigh heavy and critics would soon mount, but in true Henderson fashion, they would soon be silenced with his displays on and off the pitch.
Now a European and Premier League-winning captain, Liverpool’s No. 14 has led the club with distinction and his 392 appearances to date tell an incredible story of his perseverance.
And to commemorate 10 years at Liverpool, we’re taking a look at some of his best moments as a Red.
We don’t consistently see Henderson’s name on the scoresheet, but when he does hit truly they are typically goals to remember.
Cast your mind back to his beautiful curled effort into the top right corner against Man City in 2015, or the quick volley when Norwich came to town in 2013 or better yet his placed shot into the top left corner against Swansea in 2014.
But the gong, surely, has to go to his long-range stunner at Stamford Bridge. The timing, the execution, the celebration – it had it all back in 2016.
Full of surprises
He’s one of the nicest guys in football and his genuine willingness and desire to surprise fans and make their day is something to truly appreciate.
We saw a lot more of it throughout lockdown when face-to-face meetings were off the table and Henderson never fails to put a smile on one’s face when he reaches out.
Playing through the pain
A lot of superlatives could be cast in Henderson’s direction, but sheer determination will be somewhere near the top of the list.
The man just doesn’t know the meaning of stop, as best exemplified by his performance vs. Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final at Anfield.
Having taken a blow to the knee, the No. 14 would take a painkilling injection at half-time and we were none the wiser at the time as Henderson was his relentless and selfless self as he helped guide his team to the final on the most memorable of nights.
Celebrations at Southampton
While the 2018/19 domestic season would not end how we had wished, Henderson’s late goal at Southampton epitomised the title race and the memory remains untarnished by what might have been.
A second-half substitute, Henderson would seal the 3-1 win in front of the travelling Kop and the celebratory scenes saw everyone’s emotions on their sleeves. It would be a glimpse of what was to come.
2019/20 FWA Footballer of the Year
Jurgen Klopp said it best when he said, “everybody saw what a great player you are, everybody saw what a great personality you are, what a great character you are.
“I know the human being behind the player – you would deserve an award for that as well.”
The 2019/20 season was one Henderson was resistant to take credit for on his own, but the acknowledgement of professional football writers and broadcasters across the country left no doubt about his talent and what he brings to the game.
An award that symbolised his growth from the 20-year-old who arrived back in 2011.
If you’re looking for an on-pitch role model, then look no further than a determined, selfless, hard-working Henderson.
But the same, if not more, extends off the field of play.
From pushing to hold social platforms to account for abuse, leading the charge against the Super League, showing support for the Black Lives Matter protests and the LGBTQ+ community and his work with NHS Charities, Henderson is the embodiment of everything Liverpool and what a decent human being should be.
They were awfully big shoes to fill. But the thing is, Henderson didn’t need to fit into them, he needed to get a new pair.
And he did just that. The shadow was large, but he would soon step out of it and forge his own path and his own style, where he inevitably thrived.
“Couldn’t have passed it to a better person. Proud of you, mate,” was Steven Gerrard’s message to the man he handed over the armband after the league title win. And we agree.
Henderson’s name is on an illustrious list of five, his, of course, being the most recent Liverpool captain to lift the European Cup.
Emlyn Hughes, Phil Thompson, Graeme Souness and Steven Gerrard, not bad company to keep.
The scenes that followed the final whistle in Madrid: the relief, the unbridled joy and the power of the collective were everything and were a testament to Henderson’s journey to being in that very position.
This time he is the first Liverpool captain to lift the Premier League trophy and the 10th in club history to lead his team to league glory.
Another trophy shuffle to complete world, European and English domination and it did not disappoint.
And we’re ready for more!
An example in how to prove your critics wrong
It’s safe to say that Henderson has not been short of critics in his time at Anfield, but he has harnessed it all as fuel to be where he is today.
From the Fulham and Clint Dempsey saga to questions over his leadership and place in Liverpool’s XI, but his doubters would soon be his believers.
One could easily have crumbled under the weight of it all, but not Jordan Henderson.
It’s not been a smooth sailing decade, but 392 appearances and five trophies later, his name is already one of legend at Liverpool Football Club. And there are still more chapters left to write.