Today is my birthday, which means that it’s Emile Heskey’s birthday too. Emile is a notorious name within English football, playing for the likes of Leicester, Bolton Wanderers, Birmingham City, Liverpool, and of course Aston Villa in a career spanning 18 years.
We thought we’d take a brief look back on Emile’s time as a Villan as he celebrates his 40th birthday.
He joined Aston Villa in 2009 for a fee of three-and-a-half-million pounds after scoring his 100th Premier League goal for Wigan the season before. He had a glorious resume, helping Leicester achieve promotion before playing as a forward for Liverpool, playing over 300 games for both clubs and notching up 79 goals.
Heskey made his debut for Villa four days after signing and went on to score on his debut with a 20-yard shot against Portsmouth. He only managed to muster one more goal, against West Ham United, before the end of the season – finishing his inaugural season at Villa Park with 14 appearances and two goals.
Niggling injuries plagued Emile’s time at the Claret and Blues, with manager at the time Martin O’Neill saying that they were denying him of his best form. He started in the 2010 League cup final which we lost 2-1 to Manchester United, finishing the season with 42 appearances and 5 goals.
His former manager, Gerard Houllier, who had managed him at Liverpool sparked something in the 2010-11 season as Emile started the season relatively well, scoring the winning goals in both local derbies against West Bromwich Albion and Wolves.
Heskey remained at Villa for another season before he was told he would not be offered a new contract.
Whilst injuries and on the pitch behaviour affected his performances, he did struggle to find the net on multiple occasions in his time at Villa.
However, his dominant, brutish style of play allowed the likes of Ashley Young and Gabriel Agbonlahor to work well alongside him, and he became somewhat of a cult figure at Villa Park in his brief spell at the club.
Happy birthday Emile, we hope you have a good one!