Veteran Emile Heskey set for emotional Liverpool return

The FA Cup holds fond memories for Emile Heskey, but a chance to play against former team Liverpool, when a few months ago he was clubless and working for their TV channel, will be among the sweetest for the former England striker.

Reuters| Updated: Jan 23, 2015, 22:54 PM IST
Veteran Emile Heskey set for emotional Liverpool return

London: The FA Cup holds fond memories for Emile Heskey, but a chance to play against former team Liverpool, when a few months ago he was clubless and working for their TV channel, will be among the sweetest for the former England striker.

Heskey`s career appeared to be done and dusted when he returned from a spell in the Australian A-League, generally perceived to be a final destination for players who once flourished in big European Cups.

A move to second tier Bolton Wanderers, however, has offered him a last hurrah, while a fortunate FA Cup fourth round draw has handed him the chance to run out on Saturday against Liverpool, with whom he won the competition in 2001.

"It`s a wonderful thing to go back," Heskey said.

"I`m 37, I`m not a young lad; to go back and play at Anfield is a great thing. It wasn`t long ago, a few months ago, when I was doing LFCTV so to actually be going back there and putting my boots on and playing against Liverpool is wonderful.

"I`ve thought about it. The fans were wonderful to me while I was there. I`ll hopefully get a good reception and play my heart out."

A bulldozer of a centre forward at his peak, Heskey scored 60 goals in 223 appearances for Liverpool in a four-year spell from 2000.

He won the UEFA Cup and League Cup in the superb treble winning season of 2001 and added a second League Cup to his trophy cabinet in 2003.

The FA Cup, however, retains a special place in his heart.

Having scored one of the goals that helped beat Wycombe Wanderers to reach the final in 2001, he started Liverpool`s 2-1 victory over Arsenal at the Millennium Stadium.

"The FA Cup still means everything," added Heskey, who won 62 caps for England.

"When you`re growing up it`s the one everyone wants to win and I have been lucky enough to do that."