Champions League-winning Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson has been offered the freedom of his home city of Sunderland – but he has politely asked for the honour to be delayed until he nears retirement.
The 29-year-old England midfielder became the fifth Reds captain to lift the European Cup after leading his side to victory over Premier League rivals Tottenham in Madrid earlier this month.
However, Henderson was born and bred in Sunderland and his achievements since have been celebrated on Wearside as well as Merseyside, prompting council chiefs to propose he is given the honorary freedom of the city.
Councillor Michael Mordey, deputy leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “We are very pleased to say that Jordan has said that he would be proud to accept the freedom of his home city at some point in the future.
“Jordan obviously has his immediate sights firmly set on what he wants to achieve on the football pitch. It may well be that honouring him as one of the city’s greats is something that is likely to happen in years to come rather than in the next couple of seasons.
“In the meantime, however, we are delighted to announce that Jordan has agreed to become an ambassador for the City of Sunderland, a role for which he is supremely qualified.”
The proposal was approved by the council’s cabinet this week and will now go before the full council.
Henderson was educated at the city’s Farringdon Community Academy and joined the Black Cats’ academy as an eight-year-old, playing 79 times for the club before sealing a move to Anfield for an initial £16million in June 2011.
He made 44 appearances last season as Liverpool narrowly missed out on the Premier League title but reached the pinnacle in Europe, and also passed 50 senior caps for his country.
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