Jordan henderson

Player of the Day: Jordan Henderson

by Ashley Houghton

Academy lad turned England international in the spotlight.

In the modern era, not many Sunderland-born players have gone on to be capped by England and also captain their country at under-21 level.

Jordan Henderson has.

Hailing from Farringdon, Henderson progressed through the youth ranks on Wearside as a much-loved character amongst staff at the Academy of Light.

That love spread to Black Cats fans as the youngster made his debut in 2008 albeit in a 5-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge.

After a brief run in the team under Roy Keane, Henderson joined Coventry City on loan and spent four months at the Ricoh Arena where he played 13 times, scoring once.

A foot injury cut Henderson’s time with Coventry short and he returned to Sunderland for treatment ahead of the 2009-10 campaign.

He would go on to feature in 38 games during the 09-10 season, scoring in a 2-0 win over Birmingham City in the League Cup before also notching in a 4-3 defeat at Manchester City.

After being voted Young Player of the Year by Sunderland fans Henderson was expected to deliver big things during the 2010-11 campaign.

And a winner against West Ham at the beginning of December was a good start for the man who featured in all-but one of the Black Cats’ Barclays Premier League games during the season.

He also notched a double in a 4-2 win over Wigan Athletic as his performances for both his club and England’s under-21 side were gaining him widespread praise and recognition.

Fabio Capello was an admirer of the Wearside player and gave him his first full international cap as England entertained France at Wembley.

The hype around Jordan was very vocal and Liverpool came calling to take him to Anfield.

Henderson would join the Reds for a reported fee of around £20m ahead of the 2011-12 campaign.

He left Sunderland with a tally of five goals from 79 appearances - though he would soon be reunited with his former teammates as they visited Anfield for his debut in August 2011.

He picked up the first trophy of his career during his first campaign as Liverpool defeated Cardiff City to win the Carling Cup.

His performances for the Reds encouraged Roy Hodgson to call Henderson up to the England squad for Euro 2012 after Frank Lampard picked up an injury.

Henderson made two substitute appearances as England reached the quarter-finals before losing to Italy on penalties.

In February 2013, prior to captaining England under-21s in their European Championship campaign, Jordan was voted as England U21 Player of the Year for 2012 by supporters.