There are understandable negative connotations about footballers “on the wrong side of thirty.” No one knows when that decline will come, but when it does it can be quite sudden and precipitous.
Our captain, Jordan Henderson, turns 30 today. Hopefully, he’ll age more like James Milner than other, less fortunate examples.
Hendo has been with the club for 9 years, and baring the catastrophic—and corona nearly qualifies—he’ll complete his tenth season next year, and with it a deserved testimonial.
He’s overcome a lot in those 9 years. He was unfairly lumped in with the failed transfer policy that brought us the other infamous members of CHAD—Andy Carroll, Charlie Adam, and Stewart Downing—and had to reject a move to Fulham in exchange for Clint Dempsey. He fought through persistent injuries, and had to follow up a once-in-a-generation midfielder in Steven Gerrard. He was moved around, played out of position, and constantly underrated both by Liverpool fans and domestic rivals.
And now? He’s a European and World Champion. He’ll accomplish a feat Gerrard was never able to: ending Liverpool’s lengthy title drought. He’s rightfully in the conversation for PFA Footballer of the Year. And, depending on how the next several years go, he very well could surpass Gerrard’s title haul as captain.
So a very happy birthday to Jordan Henderson, and hopefully many more with Liverpool and beyond.