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Monday 10 March 2014

On this day in 2000: Heskey secures Liverpool move

Looking back at Premier League history, we recall Liverpool paying record fee for Leicester striker

  • Liverpool paid a club-record fee for Heskey to join from Leicester

  • Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier, left, admitted Heskey was not the finished product

  • Heskey scored the first of 39 Barclays Premier League goals for Liverpool against Coventry

Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.

10 March 2000 – Liverpool splash out record fee on striker Heskey

Liverpool paid a club-record fee to sign England striker Emile Heskey from Leicester City. The fee was also a record for Leicester, where the 22-year-old had progressed through the ranks from the youth team to the first team.

Heskey was an England international at the time of the move and had scored 46 goals for Leicester in 185 full and 13 substitute appearances in all competitions, including eight during the 1999/2000 campaign.

"You take a player because he is a talent and because you think he will work out well for the team,” Gerard Houllier, the Liverpool manager said. "The good thing is that he knows a lot of our players. At his age he is not the finished product. Like every player here he will want to progress and improve."

One attraction for Heskey in coming to Liverpool was the chance to team up with his fellow England forward Michael Owen.

"I have played with a lot of forwards and we have bonded together and that includes Michael Owen," he said.  "I found it an exciting prospect to play alongside Michael.”

Heskey made his Liverpool debut against Sunderland, the side he had played against for Leicester the previous week. Although he did not score in that match, his first Liverpool goal came in his fifth outing for the club - a 3-0 win at Coventry City - and he went on to score twice more during the season.

Heskey was a huge success in his first full campaign at Anfield, getting 22 goals in all competitions as the club won the treble of UEFA, FA and League Cups. He continued to play and score regularly, although not quite as prolifically over the next three seasons.

At the end of the 2003/04 campaign, having scored 39 goals in 150 Barclays Premier League appearances for the Reds, he moved to Birmingham City, just before playing for England in the Euro 2004 finals.

Heskey went on to play for Wigan Athletic and Aston Villa before moving to Australia where he is now on the books of Newcastle Jets.

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Key Points

  • Premierleague.com looks back through the annals of history of the competition
  • A memorable event or match from each day of the year will be selected
  • We remember when Liverpool paid a record fee foe Leicester's Emile Heskey