Liverpool record signing opens up on ‘horrible’ struggles

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Emile Heskey has opened up on the difficulties he faced at Liverpool.

Heskey became Liverpool’s record signing when he moved to Anfield from Leicester for £11m in March 2000.

The striker stayed on Merseyside for four years, scoring 60 goals in 223 games and winning six trophies.

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But Heskey, 22 when he was signed, struggled with the change in lifestyle.

A product of the Leicester academy, his spell at Liverpool represented the first time he was away from home for elongated periods, which “did not feel great” for Heskey.

“It felt miles and miles away,” Heskey told The Athletic. “You are talking a two-hour drive. Not a 24-hour flight, like when I went to Australia later in my career.

“I could not put my finger on why I felt like that. We won the treble, so it didn’t affect me on the field. I just did not feel great, to be honest. It is strange.

“We can all go into an environment that we kind of love and thrive in – by that, I mean two hours per day of training or playing – but then go into a normality that can feel horrible.

“It could have been a shyness. I never really wanted to impose myself on people. I never did anything. I just sat there at home.

“Why didn’t I just go for a walk? Why didn’t I explore? Why didn’t I reach out to team-mates to see what they were up to? Anything. I never did anything. I just sat there.”

Heskey left the Reds to join Birmingham in 2004, spending time at Wigan, Aston Villa and Newcastle Jets thereafter before retiring at Bolton in 2016.

The forward earned 62 international caps for England, with his seven goals including a memorable strike against Germany and a strike in the 2002 World Cup against Denmark.

 

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