Milner refused to let the captain share his moment of triumph.
Although some Liverpool supporters have not always seen the true worth of Jordan Henderson, it’s been clear for most of his tenure that his teammates realize how special he is. This was on full display in some of the quotes shared by the LFC Captain’s past and present teammates in LFCTV’s Henderson: The Making of a Champion.
The documentary, which was made to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of Henderson’s signing, contains a multitude of testimonies that highlight how lucky Liverpool are to have Henderson as their on-pitch leader. Trent Alexander-Arnold, James Milner, Virgil van Dijk, Adam Lallana, and Jamie Carragher all contributed to the documentary, and some of their quotes have been transcribed on LiverpoolFC.com.
James Milner provided the perfect anecdote to sum up Henderson’s persona and leadership style. According to the veteran midfielder, Henderson wanted someone to lift the trophy with him after Liverpool won the 2019 Champions League Final, and Milner was his first choice.
“He was asking someone else to lift the trophy with him and it was like: ‘No Hendo, this is your moment and you’ve earned the right, you deserve the right to go along with the other captains who have done it and go down in history for this club,’” said Milner.
Milner didn’t just refuse to be a part of Henderson’s moment, though. He also made sure the captain didn’t try to recruit someone else to lift the trophy alongside him.
“That sums him up right there, wanting to share that moment. It’s all our moment, him lifting the trophy, but every single player would have wanted him to lift it and lift it on his own. I think my words were something like: ‘If someone else lifts it with you I’ll rugby tackle them off the stage!’”
Anyone who has watched the way Jordan Henderson conducts himself on and off the pitch for the last ten years won’t be surprised to hear Milner’s story, but they’ll likely all be thankful Milner refused his selfless offer. There is no doubt that Henderson more than earned the right to raise Ol’ Big Ears himself, and seeing him do so after all the tireless work he put in to get to that moment is what made it so special.
Seeing all of the praises and accolades pour in from around the world as Liverpool celebrates their leader and engine has been truly wonderful. This is especially true given that even up until fairly recently Jordan Henderson still didn’t get the respect and adoration he deserves from certain corners of the footballing world.
Even Henderson’s teammates saw that their captain was underappreciated. But, in the end, his excellence became undeniable, and ten years on from his signing players are lining up to express their adoration.
“I think other people stood up and took notice of what he brought to the team as well,” said Milner. “Obviously he had his ups and downs at the club before that. Like every footballer he had hard times and stepping into Stevie’s shoes is no easy task at all. So, the way he’s done it, the manner he’s done it, the way he’s led the club: I can’t say enough good things about him.”