Jordan Henderson left the role of Liverpool captain outside when he returned home from title partyjuin 30, 2020
The status of newly-crowned Premier League champion carried little weight when Jordan Henderson walked through his front door on Friday night.
Much of the previous 24 hours had been a blur. A recovery session at Melwood, an impromptu team gathering at Formby Hall golf resort then a party into the small hours with his team-mates after Liverpool’s coronation had been confirmed followed by a raft of media commitments.
Henderson barely had any time to think but if he expected bells and whistles to accompany his arrival back at his family home, he was very much mistaken. The role of Liverpool captain was left outside – now it was simply time to be Dad.
The status of league champion Jordan Henderson carried little weight when he returned home
The previous 24 hours were a blur after title celebrations and a raft of media commitments
‘As soon as I came in I was on the back foot,’ said Henderson, who was besieged by his two daughters Elexa, seven, and Alba, five. ‘They were just having their tea and asking us to make them a drink. I had to start looking after them, basically let them boss me about for a few hours before bed.’
It didn’t stop there.
‘I walked through the door and the baby was handed into my arms,’ Henderson continues, laughing about being handed bath times duties by his wife, Rebecca, for their five-month old son, Myles. ‘It was like “Crack on!” To be fair, I wouldn’t have it any other way.’
Henderson doesn’t plan to change his preference for the quiet life despite the title glory
This is true. Henderson may have stayed up late after Chelsea had beaten Manchester City but he didn’t drink and he certainly won’t change his preference for the quiet life just because Liverpool’s 30-year pursuit of their 19th league championship is over.
What has characterised Henderson’s career is determination to meet the next challenge and it is perhaps fitting that Liverpool’s first fixture as champions is a trip to City, who will be desperate to lay down a marker for next season.
To give an idea of how little Henderson takes for granted, he wouldn’t even allow himself to consider the possibility last Thursday morning that he was about to join Graeme Souness, Emlyn Hughes and Phil Neal as the only Liverpool skippers to lift both the League and the European Cup.
Henderson’s career has been characterised by his determination to meet the next challenge
‘I cannot even think about that,’ said Henderson, who had to leave his phone alone on Friday as it was so full of messages. ‘It is overwhelming, you know? It will take a while to sink in properly. So when I came back into the house and it was normal with the kids, that’s something I quite like.
‘People who know me will know I never speak about something until it has happened, no matter how many points we are ahead of anything like that. I have been in football long enough to know that it can change pretty quickly and strange things can happen. You never count your chickens.’
Such an attitude explains why the game face will be back on at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday evening. The last 13 months have brought him everything his heart desired from football – European champion, world champion, league champion – but there is no sense this is the summit.
Henderson believes it is now his responsibility to ensure standards at Liverpool do not slack
Liverpool have a target on their backs more than ever and the 30-year-old feels it is his responsibility to ensure the standards of the dressing room do not slack. Another medal for the collection will not change how he is perceived at home – nor will it change his hunger.
‘I have no doubt we will have the hunger,’ says Henderson. ‘I’ve known the lads a long time; I know the manager and I know myself. We just want to win football games. We just be the best we can be to do something. It’s been a special journey so far but I hope it can last a lot longer.
‘City are an unbelievable team and you will have other teams knocking on the door and improving all the time. That is why you have to keep improving and keep wanting more and keep going and there’s a lot more to come. We can still do better – and we will be better.’