JORDAN HENDERSON says he is proud to have played his part in adding another chapter to Liverpool’s illustrious history during Sunday’s Carling Cup final.
The Reds marked their first visit to Wembley in 16 years in dramatic style, triumphing in a tense penalty shoot-out after a pulsating 2-2 draw against Championship side Cardiff City.
It is the club’s eighth League Cup success, an English football record, and for players like Henderson, as well as fellow summer recruits Jose Enrique, Stewart Downing and Charlie Adam, it represents the perfect start to their fledgling Anfield careers.
“It’s a great feeling,” says Henderson. “It’s a great honour for me to win my first trophy as a professional, and it is the same for a few of the other lads as well.
“This is what you dream of when you come to a club like Liverpool. It is a dream to play at Wembley, to play in finals and to play in amazing arenas like this.
“Growing up you are aware of Liverpool being a great club with great players who won trophies and medals and competed for honours. The history of the club, and the success it has had throughout the years, is there for everyone to see.
“That was in my mind when I joined the club, to follow those players and to play in big games, finals, and big occasions like this. We are all proud that we have been able to do that, and to win another trophy for the club.”
Henderson himself endured a somewhat frustrating afternoon, being substituted early in the second half.
It meant he was forced to watch from the bench as the Reds, eventually, held their nerve in a topsy-turvy penalty contest.
“It’s even worse watching from the sidelines, to be honest,” he admitted. “I couldn’t watch the penalties being taken, I was that nervous.
“I have to say it was great bottle from all the lads who went up and took a penalty, because I was nervous just watching them! I can’t imagine what they were feeling, but each and every one of them showed brilliant character.”
He added: “I would have wanted to take one, but it’s easy for me to say that now I suppose! It takes real bottle to step up, and the lads all deserve great credit for doing so. It was a great end to the day.”
Henderson, who has joined up with England’s Under-21 squad for their midweek game with Belgium, also paid tribute to the Reds supporters, who turned out in their thousands to cheer their team on at Wembley.
“The atmosphere was brilliant,” he said. “The fans are brilliant every week, and Sunday was no different. They enjoyed themselves and made a lot of noise, and we enjoyed ourselves too. It was an amazing day for everybody.”