90min’s Make Your Mark series gets to the heart of what made footballers the players they are today.
Be it a family member, a coach, a team or a personality trait, someone or something down the line has been particularly key in a player’s journey into professional football.
Ahead of the FA Community Shield, Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson sat down with 90min to discuss who or what has made the most influential mark on his career.
“One thing that’s been helped me become the player I am today is where I’m from, Sunderland, and how I was brought up there.
“The people up there, how passionate they are about football. I think that then was the same for me growing up. I loved football, and was very passionate [about it] right from the minute I can remember really so I’ve got an awful lot [of people] to thank. From coaches I had at a young age there and how I was brought up and raised in the north-east.”
“The next thing that helped me become who I am today is my parents. The sacrifice and the dedication that they made for me when I was a kid, taking me to football matches, taking me to training, making sure I’m living right and doing the right things away from football. And always being there to support me.”
“Making my Premier League debut I would say was a big moment in my career. Roy Keane gave me my debut away to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, who were a very good team at the time.
“I was chucked in at the deep end and that gave me a bit of confidence, you know, to be in amongst world class players gave me a boost that I was close to getting to where I wanted to be. There was still a lot of hard work and a long way to go but to share a pitch with them was a big moment for me, and a big boost to my career.”
“Moving away from home and developing and improving as a player at Liverpool, getting used to the city and the fans and the expectations at the club, and using that to help develop me as a player and as a person.
“It was tough at the beginning but I felt as though a lot of the qualities that I have, or had, coming into Liverpool you know it’s very similar to Sunderland in terms of the passion and desire that they have for their football club and how much it means to them, I could certainly relate to that”
“I think the last thing that’s helped me is Hope United. I think it’s been really special and really powerful, and hopefully it has a made a big impact and positive change over the past year or two.
“Hopefully we can continue doing more work going forward and making positive change in our society.”
EE Hope United will rally the UK to tackle online sexist hate as part of EE’s commitment to digitally upskill the nation. Visit ee.co.uk/hopeunited