Jordan Henderson makes astonishing claim about England fans booing him

  • Henderson was booed by England fans during the friendly against Australia
  • Former Liverpool midfielder's move to Saudi Arabia has divided opinion
  • Gareth Southgate leapt to Henderson's defence

Henderson was booed by England fans
Henderson was booed by England fans / James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages

Jordan Henderson has insisted he does not understand why he was booed by England fans during Friday's friendly victory over Australia.

Henderson, who left Liverpool for Saudi Arabia's Al Ettifaq during the summer, was met with a chorus of boos from England fans when his name was announced before the game, and his substitution in the second half only drew louder jeers from the crowd.

England boss Gareth Southgate questioned why fans would boo Henderson, before later admitting he understood the reasons behind the reaction.

Henderson himself was asked if he knew why he was booed by fans, to which he responded: "Not really. I don't know. Do you?"

When it was pointed out that his move to Saudi Arabia was likely behind the boos, Henderson added: "If people want to boo if I'm playing in a different country, that's fine. Everyone is going to have an opinion over playing over in Saudi.

"I've spoken in the past about the reasons for that. Whether people believe us or not is up to them. But when I'm here with England, it doesn't change anything. I give absolutely everything. Of course it's disappointing, but it won't change what I do here. I want to keep playing and help the team become successful."

Jordan Henderson
Henderson joined Al Ettifaq from Liverpool / Francois Nel/GettyImages

Many fans have pointed out that Henderson's decision to play "in a different country" is not the source of their frustration, but rather the impact making such a move had on the LGBTQ+ community which he has so publicly supported in the past.

"I haven't been surprised by that because I can understand the reasons in what they're saying," Henderson said about the criticism. I look at it from a different point of view. But I can understand it and I’ve got to take that on the chin. But it doesn’t change the person that I am. I’m playing football in a different country where I want to try to improve the game on the pitch but also things off the pitch as well.

"I'm not a politician. I'm not going to get into politics. All I've ever done is concentrate on my football and try to help people that have asked for my help. When I'm going out there, I'm just playing football, trying to improve the league, trying to improve my own team and trying to win games. I do the same when I come here."

On the impact of the booing, Henderson concluded: "It's not nice, your own fans, if they were booing. But people have their own opinions. Whenever I bump into anyone on the street it's always been positive."