My most precious possession is the jersey I wore the first time I captained Liverpool in a match against Sheffield on Wednesday – or at least until it was stolen.
I had it framed with the cuff. Then the thieves got into it.
What I never understood is why they decided to take the Redknapp shirt and not the Zinedine Zidane framed shirt! But running Liverpool was a privilege and that’s why it was my favorite memory.
Jordan Henderson understands this too. I spoke to Henderson via video call after Liverpool was confirmed as champion on Thursday evening. I was in the Sky Sports studio and he was preparing for a future 30-year-old party.
Jordan Henderson’s leadership was key to Liverpool’s first Premier League success
Henderson had the unenviable task of replacing Gerrard as Liverpool captain in 2015
The midfielder has managed the pressure of being a skipper while improving as a player
I reminded him that he is now the captain who won the Club World Cup, the Champions League and the Premier League. When asked what it was doing, Henderson struggled to find the words. He looked away from the camera, but you could see the emotion in his eyes. I understand that. With this armband around your biceps comes the pressure.
I also felt it. There are additional expectations, and you should be able to pick up the pieces of your teammates, even if you are struggling.
Henderson had to do this when Liverpool missed the Premier League title against Manchester City, and after losing in the Champions League final against Real Madrid. He had to put aside his personal disappointments and bring the group together, as they turned to him and Jurgen Klopp for inspiration.
Countless private conversations, endless words of encouragement, extra work with the media, liaison with the manager – it’s all part of being a captain, and playing that role in a club eager to repeat successes of the old makes things more difficult.
Henderson also showed maturity by launching the #Players Together charity program in April
Gerrard congratulated Henderson for his leadership this week, saying he deserves all the applause
So many Liverpool skippers have tried and failed to lead their team to the title, including me. But Henderson did. I succeeded as captain in 1999 to Paul Ince, a great player. When Steven Gerrard left in 2015, I thought, “Where are you going from here? How can you cope with the loss of someone like that? Liverpool lost an icon – a leader with personality walking the halls of Melwood and Anfield.
But Henderson took over and showed that there was life after Gerrard. The players respect him and respond to him. The 30-year-old has shown the same leadership when it comes to the Players Together initiative.
Like all Liverpool fans, he hopes this is just the start of a period of domination. With Klopp and these players staying in place, chances are it won’t be the last Premier League title they have won together.
Klopp is a remarkable person. I don’t think I have ever seen anyone capture another language with humility, positivity and, at times, unmatched comedic value. Congratulations to Klopp’s English teacher – he always knows exactly what to say!
Liverpool fans have embraced him as one of their own, and so has Captain Henderson.
Dalglish wins last two Liverpool titles
Kenny Dalglish signed Jordan Henderson for £ 20 million in 2011. As we all know, King Kenny was manager the last time Liverpool won the title in 1990.
Then he signed me, at the age of 17, in 1991. The day he resigned, 38 days after my arrival, he had a thousand and one things to do, as you can imagine.
I was in my room at my excavation, heartbroken by his departure. Then Mrs. Sainsbury – my lovely hostess – knocked on my door and said, “There’s a call for you, it’s Kenny.”
He wanted to make sure I was fine. It showed what a thoughtful man he is, and I was so happy to see him enjoying the title celebrations on Thursday.
The fact that he signed Henderson makes him even better. This means that he also contributed to this triumph.
Kenny Dalgish led Liverpool in 1991 and signed Henderson of Sunderland in 2011