Liverpool star Jordan Henderson was keen to dash back from the birth of his second child to play against Blackburn Rovers in last night’s FA Cup quarter-final replay, manager Brendan Rodgers has revealed.
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The England international was with his partner during labour as they celebrated the birth of a baby girl, but the midfielder was still desperate to play for the Reds in this crucial game despite the big occasion and the inevitable lack of sleep.
Henderson has really shone since emerging as the likely candidate to replace Steven Gerrard as captain next season, taking the armband for a number of games this season in the absence of the veteran skipper.
Rodgers praised his vice-captain, who then played for Liverpool as they won 1-0 at Ewood Park to book a place at Wembley to play against Aston Villa in the semi-finals of this season’s competition.
Speaking about the incident to the club’s official site, the Liverpool boss said: “Jordan Henderson actually had to go back from the hotel – his partner had their second child during the night, so he had gone away, hadn’t slept so much and travelled back again and put in a performance like he did tonight, a real captain’s performance.
“Some players maybe would have missed the game, but he said to me: ‘Boss, as soon as the baby’s out I’ll be coming back!’ There was a car waiting!
“He spent time with his young partner, child and family, which is great, but he said, ‘I’ll be back’ – and he was. He had his lunch, he had a good sleep this afternoon and then played like a real captain.”