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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

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Jordan Henderson leaves Liverpool: The Captain Who Won It All With A Sour Ending


Jordan Henderson was seen walking that famous glorious stadium alone for his goodbye before he had even actually left.

It almost felt like we had travelled back to the dreaded Covid time with lifeless and emotionless empty stadiums.

But no, this is how Jordan Henderson’s exit has unravelled.

Not a single soul in Anfield chanting nor screaming his name.

No banner of appreciation in the Kop.

No emotion from the lad from Sunderland who made Liverpool his city and captained the side to every trophy there possibly was.

Just an empty goodbye to a camera.

This was never how it was meant to end for Henderson as he was the player who proved all his doubters wrong even having to reject an offer from Fulham to fight and make his name for himself at this club who have their legends standing over you.

Because you need to live up to their name and Henderson did that yet here we are.

That is why there is a sour taste.

The goodbye is not the sad part at this point, it is how the goodbye has happened.

To see him pictured in training with his new teammates without a confirmation just puts the cherry on top.

He should have had the send-off Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner and Roberto Firmino all had.

Packed Anfield cheering them one by one at the end of the season just to show their appreciation and the players showing their appreciation back.

But instead, all that he could have done was try to remember that Anfield crowd as he wandered around that pitch alone.

Time however will be a healer and he will be remembered fondly after all there was 12 years with 497 appearances, 33 goals and eight trophies.

It is not just the way the exit has gone though it is who he surrenders the captain’s armband to go and join.

He joins Al-Ettifaq, a club that are in Saudi Arabia.

In Saudi Arabia it is illegal to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender.

LGBT rights are not recognised by the Saudi Arabian Government.

Henderson was arguably the loudest football figure for the LGBTQ community, but he is now joining a club in a country where that community is repressed.

Therefore, he leaves as a hypocrite with a legacy tainted for some who after all may not remember him fondly.

When he should have left with a legacy that will be loved by all.

The goodbye video might pull on the heart strings and it should, it has been 12 years that he has been a constant face that has been cheered on at Liverpool.

To no longer have that will feel strange.

The exit though now feels hollow.

It is something which should have been met with such emotion yet it is something which everyone wants to get over and done with.

The Liverpool captain who won eight trophies at the club, this was not the ending

A legend yes, there is no doubt about that, but now there will always be the conversation about how much of a shambles this was hanging over him.

It really is a shame as after all it was a privilege to watch him grow into the captain that led the Jurgen Klopp era to such glory.

He should have got that message one last time from the Anfield crowd.

Instead he walked alone, the irony being about this club is that you are never meant to do that.

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