Last night former TLO contributor Elizabeth asked me who my five favorite Liverpool players were. It was really hard to come up with just five and my heart broke over all the former Reds I had to leave off the list. One notable and regrettable omission: Emile Heskey.
The former England #9, who is currently unattached and most recently played for Bolton Wanderers, spent four years at Anfield in the early aughts, is lowkey on of my favorites. The power he was able to wield— in his movement, in his finishing— was pivotal to Liverpool’s “Cup Treble” in the 2000-01 season.
But if you ask Heskey himself, as the official club website did, he’ll tell you that he was only able to have such a tremendous season because of his strike partner Michael Owen. He says that they had a special chemistry from the very beginning.
“I'd heard a lot about Michael - from the age of 15 I think he started to get the headlines - and then he came along with us to a couple of games and a tournament. He was just phenomenal. You knew with Michael, once he gets an opportunity, he was going to take it - he was great like that from a young age. Our chemistry just clicked because I was a guy who was more of a feeder, I'd feed people. And when you've got someone who can finish like Michael, it makes for a good partnership.”
Heskey also had some kind words for another Reds luminary— Robbie Fowler.
“You grow up watching players like that and from a young age you see him smashing in goals left, right and centre. Left foot, right foot, headers, volleys - the lot, he had everything. You'd see him training as well, he'd say 'I'm going to shoot, Emile where do you want the ball? Put it in that stanchion?' Bang. He'd put it in the stanchion. 'Side-netting?' Bang. 'Crossbar and in?' Bang. He was a wonderful player.”
You can hear Heskey talk more about his time at Anfield in a new LFCTV special called “60 Minutes With... Emile Heskey,” which should be available now on the club website.