Friday, March 23, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 58: Stephane Henchoz


Voted in at number 58 in our '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' countdown is Swiss centre-half from the treble cup-winning team, Stephane Henchoz.
Four years after our ground-breaking '100 Days That Shook The Kop', we are delighted to invite you to enjoy our new '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series – the definitive countdown of the 100 players who have made the biggest impact at Liverpool.

Over 110,000 supporters have all nominated their own personal Top 10 players in order of impact made and now the definitive top 100 countdown is underway.

Every player who has made the top 100 – and there are some surprises in there - will be honoured on this website via the e-Season ticket console with a specially produced video clip, including archive footage and exclusive interviews.

Since 1892 hundreds of players have represented this club but everyone has their own particular favourites so don't expect this list to be based solely on talent. The greatness of a player can be measured in many ways – obviously, his ability on the pitch is the most important, but 100 PWSTK is much more than that. It's about the impact the individuals chosen have had on this club, be it for a variety of reasons. Maybe it was because of their unique rapport with the crowd, a specific incident that has never been forgotten or anything else that has left a lasting impression.

Name: Stephane Henchoz

Years at Liverpool: 1999 to 2005
Position: Defender

Date of birth: 07/09/1974
Birthplace: Billens, Switzerland

Signed from: Blackburn Rovers (July 1999)

Games: 205
Goals: 0

Honours with Liverpool: FA Cup (2001), UEFA Cup (2001), League Cup (2001, 2003), Charity Shield (2001)

Popular centre half Stephane Henchoz proved to be an inspirational signing and, together with defensive partner Sami Hyypia, formed the rock on which Gerard Houllier built his foundations for the unprecedented cup treble success of 2001. Signed from Blackburn Rovers for £3.5 million during the summer of 1999, Henchoz was a much-sought after figure, despite suffering relegation from the Premiership with Rovers, and Houllier had to move swiftly to bring the cultured Swiss international to Anfield. Unfortunately, Liverpool supporters had to wait to witness the first appearance of Henchoz in a red shirt. A groin injury delayed his debut but he quickly made up for lost time. Strong in the air and an uncompromising man marker, Henchoz became a vital member of the much improved Liverpool rearguard and was an unsung hero of the treble success, always appearing to be in the right place at the right time when it came to snuffing out the danger posed by opposition attacks. He missed a large part of the 2002/03 season due to injury and it was clear for all to see that without him Liverpool's defence looked vulnerable. As a result the Reds ultimately missed out on Champions League qualification but Henchoz did return from injury in time to play in the 2003 Worthington Cup win over Manchester United. Quiet and unassuming, he rarely complained when left out of the team but when Rafael Benitez took charge at Anfield it soon became apparent that his days in Red were numbered. Henchoz brought the curtain down on a Liverpool career he can look back on with great pride when he joined Celtic on a free transfer in January 2005. His spell at Parkhead was brief and he came back to England just a few months later to sign for Wigan. The fantastic reception Henchoz received when he returned to Anfield with the Latics last season told its own story and he will be forever remembered as a key player in the club's regeneration under Houllier.

Sold to: Celtic (January 2005)

Claim to fame: Being part of one of the most effective central defensive partnerships this club has ever seen

Did you know? He scored only one goal for Liverpool and that was in a pre-season friendly against Celtic in America

Where is he now? Playing for Wigan

Dietmar Hamann on Stephane Henchoz: "He had a tough start when he came because he was injured for a few months but once he started playing every week he was a tremendous player. He was as tough as any I've seen. He never lost a tackle or a challenge. He didn't look the strongest but he was a very strong boy. I think him and Sami were just an awesome partnership for five or six years."

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