Jordan Henderson took the lengthy path to the highest, it’s truthful to say, and the Liverpool captain has recounted an episode which could have seen his profession stall earlier than it even started.
It was Kenny Dalglish who signed Henderson from Sunderland, the place he began his senior journey, and the No. 14 has had loads of ups and downs since then.
From ill-fitting right-winger, to box-to-boxer, to holding midfielder and now even to emergency centre-back, his Anfield story has been a wild one – topped by an everyday tip-tap dance routine to elevate silverware, after all.
However all which may have been so much more durable to realize had issues gone awry early on.
Hendo made his senior debut for Sunderland as an 18-year-old in opposition to Chelsea, approaching as substitute underneath the administration of Roy Keane – however he and a team-mate, David Meyler, nearly didn’t make the squad.
Not that they weren’t chosen, however as our skipper recounted to the Premier League YouTube channel, they merely nearly didn’t make the flight!
“For the away video games we used to fly from Newcastle airport so that you had been allowed to drive to the airport,” he defined, with Meyler internet hosting the interview.
“David was driving me, we hit visitors, operating late – that’s a no-go in soccer anyway however with Roy, that’s ‘the airplane’s taking off, you’re not getting on, sport over’.
“Meyler’s driving like [F1 racer Lewis] Hamilton, attempting to get to the airport. Fortunately to you [David], we managed to get there and I managed to make my debut. In any other case, I may not have gotten on!”
His outdated mate then selected the pure response: that the knock-on impact of not making that airplane successfully meant he ought to be credited for Liverpool profitable the title!
Had they missed the flight, former Eire worldwide Meyler defined, Keane would by no means have performed them once more, Hendo would by no means have been a Sunderland icon, moved to the Reds, change into captain and received the league with us – such are the high quality margins on the high!
After all, Henderson wouldn’t have been fully in charge for the episode and Roy Keane might effectively have forgiven him a transgression, because the no-nonsense former coach definitely took a liking to him.
Additionally, Hendo’s continuous want to enhance and overcome each problem is a big a part of what has made him a hit down the years, so a technique or one other he may have scrapped his option to the very high of the sport.
We’re simply delighted it occurred with the Reds, the place he has change into a reputation to go down in historical past in his personal proper, the primary captain in 30 years to elevate the league championship trophy – and hopefully with a lot extra items of silverware to return in future.