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James Copley: Why Sunderland-born Jordan Henderson's FA Cup win for Liverpool was special for Wearside - opinion

Sunderland-born Jordan Henderson created a unique bit of history yesterday afternoon.

Sunday, 15th May 2022, 4:56 pm

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The 31-year-old became the first player to lift the Champions League, Premier League, Super Cup, Club World Cup, Carabao Cup and FA Cup as Liverpool captain following the Reds' victory over Chelsea on Sunday.

Granted, the Club World Cup didn’t come into being until 2000 but it is still a monumental achievement, one which surely cements him as a Liverpool great, alongside Steven Gerrard, Phil Thompson, Alan Hansen, Graeme Souness and the rest.

Poetic as well that a Sunderland-born player was to lift the FA Cup at Wembley on the tournament's 150th anniversary.

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The competition was brought into being by another Wearsider, the footballing pioneer Charles William Alcock.

Alcock was a major instigator in the development of both international football and cricket.

To see Henderson lift the prestigious competition that Alcock created provoked a real sense of pride across Wearside.

Unfortunately, though, no sooner are Henderson’s achievements celebrated by Wearsiders than negative comments from elsewhere follow.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 14: Jordan Henderson of Liverpool lifts The Emirates FA Cup trophy after their sides victory during The FA Cup Final match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Wembley Stadium on May 14, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

One fan remarked on Twitter following the game: "(Why don’t you) put that in your (Sunderland’s) trophy cabinet?”

I understand. This is the binary nature of football fandom and social media discourse. In this day and age, people like to wind each other up.

And to an extent, that particular user may well think that he has served his purpose if he spots this article when it goes live.

But I ask you this: if Sunderland people can’t be proud of one of their own doing so well, what can they be proud of?

Nobody is claiming that they are Sunderland’s trophies, that would be nonsensical, they are Liverpool’s.

But it is a real joy to see someone from the city do so well in life despite having to leave Sunderland to do so.

Like Alcock 150 years ago, Henderson is a proper footballing man, who loves the game.

Alcock retired from playing in 1876 three(ish) years before Sunderland were founded, meaning he never turned out for his hometown team, finishing his career in London.

One wonders, more out of hope than anything else, where Henderson will finish his, and whether the pull of his home would ever be enough for a return to Sunderland should the circumstances ever marry up.