The last few days have been a nonstop Jordan Henderson lovefest. It started when Liverpool FC spent several days celebrating the tenth anniversary of their captain’s signing by releasing a documentary that included effusive praise from some of his past and present teammates. Now, it’s ending with Henderson being named a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE).
The MBE was awarded to Henderson for his contributions both on and off the pitch. His on-pitch achievements, captaining LFC to Champion’s League and Premier League titles and becoming one of the best Liverpool midfielders in the PL era, are well known to everyone around these parts. But, it was his off-the-pitch achievements that he seemed most proud of when he was interviewed following the news he’d received the MBE.
“My family and I feel greatly humbled to be recognized in this way, more so given the reason for it,” said Henderson. “There are many privileges that come from playing professional football, but having a platform to promote a charitable cause such as Players Together and NHS Charities Together is as big a privilege as any.”
Players Together is the charitable initiative created by Premier League players to provide support to the United Kingdom’s National Health Service during the COVID-19 pandemic. Henderson was instrumental in organizing and implementing the initiative, but in classic Jordan Henderson fashion, he was quick to heap praise on everyone else that was involved rather than take all of the credit.
“It’s important for me to state that although the honor has been issued to me personally, the credit must be shared to a far larger group of people, and I accept this in the knowledge I was part of something special, rather than the reason for it.”
“The other Premier League captains were the catalyst and the rest of the players, including my own teammates at Liverpool, were a driving force behind the scenes. Huge numbers of football fans, from across the country, also displayed great generosity in donating.”
“But the true heroes are the NHS staff; they put themselves in harm’s way to serve and protect us. Therefore I dedicate this to all the nurses, doctors, carers, porters, admin workers, cleaners, security personnel, and every single individual who devotes their career and their lives to making the NHS the part of British life we are rightly most proud of as a nation.”
Also receiving an MBE alongside Henderson was his former Liverpool and current England teammate, Raheem Sterling. Sterling was recognized for his outspoken advocacy for racial justice and equality in sport. After years of being subjected to both veiled and overt racism and abuse, he has grown into an inspiring figure and leader in the fight against racial injustices and prejudices in football.