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In profile: Emile Heskey

24 December 2014

An in-depth look at Wanderers' latest recruit, Emile Heskey

A man whose professional career stretches over 20 years and has seen him leave his mark on the English game, Emile Heskey is a name synonymous with the Premier League and England national side.

Having linked up with Wanderers earlier this month, the striker recently figured for the club in an Under-21 clash against Reading and has now agreed a short-term deal with the Whites.

A seasoned international for England during some of the Three Lions’ most notable exploits in recent years, Heskey has undoubtedly acquired unrivalled experience during his career to date. 

Having started his affiliation with the game back in 1987 as a nine-year-old with his local side Leicester City within their youth set-up, Heskey impressed for the Foxes and was eventually handed his first team bow at the age of 17, turning out against Queens Park Rangers in October 1995.

He soon became a key figure for the Filbert Street outfit, helping the club earn promotion to the top flight in 1996 alongside the League Cup in both 1997 and 2000, scoring 46 goals in 198 appearances.

His efforts in the blue of Leicester did not go unnoticed either, with the frontman winning his first cap for England against Hungary in 1999 while Liverpool then agreed a fee of £11 million for his services in the summer of 2000 – the Reds’ then record transfer.

His move to Anfield proved to be the most prolific period of his career, with the forward spending four seasons on Merseyside, finding the back of the net 60 times in 228 games for Liverpool, figuring in the club’s FA Cup, League Cup, Charity Shield, UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup successes.

It was during his time with the Reds that Heskey also enjoyed arguably his most memorable moment for the national side, scoring the Three Lions’ final goal in their memorable 5-1 victory over Germany in September 2001.

Following the arrival of Milan Baros at Anfield however, Heskey found himself on the move again in 2004 as he joined Birmingham City on a five-year deal, bringing the curtain down on an impressive stint with the Reds.

His time at St Andrew’s was yet again a fruitful one with the England international being named as the club’s Players’ Player of the Year and Fans’ Player of the Season at the end of the 2004/05 campaign, although the Blues’ relegation from the top flight in 2006 led to his departure that summer, with Wigan Athletic his next port of call.

Joining the Latics for £5.5 million, Heskey went on to notch 16 times for the DW Stadium outfit in 88 games, with his 100th Premier League goal coming in a 2-1 victory over Portsmouth in November 2008.

Injuries sadly hampered his time in Lancashire, but his exploits were still enough to convince Aston Villa to part with £3.5 million in January 2009 to secure Heskey’s signature on a three-and-a-half year deal.

He made the perfect start to life at Villa Park, scoring on his debut against Portsmouth, while it wasn’t long before Heskey announced his retirement from international in late 2010 having scored seven times for England and figuring for his country at both the European Championships and World Cup Finals.

The remainder of his spell with the Villans saw him employed mainly as a substitute, but the striker still managed to find the back of the next on 15 occasions during his stint with Villa.

Following the expiration of his contract in the summer of 2012, Heskey made the decision to swap the Premier League for the Australian A-League, joining Newcastle Jets on a free transfer.

His spell in Australia was a relatively fruitful one which saw him average a goal every four games, but the 36-year-old departed the Jets in the summer of 2014, with the Bolton Wanderers name now set to take its place amongst the experienced journeyman’s resume.

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