I'm a Premier League cult hero but was stunned when Thierry Henry asked for my shirt – I thought he had wrong room | The Sun
15th April 2023

FORMER Premier League striker James Beattie has revealed he thought Thierry Henry had the wrong room when he turned up to ask for his shirt.

Beattie, 45,made 331 Premier League appearances during his career, scoring 91 goals and providing 37 assists.

The former striker started his career at Blackburn before having stints at Southampton, Everton, Stoke, Sheffield United, Rangers, Blackpool and Accrington Stanley.

Speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes Fanzone Beattie recalled a moment in 2003 that left him stunned.

He said: "Over the years I've had some right battles with Arsenal. I scored two in a 3-2 win over them for Southampton back in 2002, and I've scored an own goal while playing for Stoke in a 4-0 defeat.

"But, probably, the one standout moment would've been in the 2003 FA Cup final. They beat us 1-0 down in Wales on the day and, to be fair, we probably should have been down to 10-men but for the referee maybe being a little generous towards us with it being a cup final.

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"But, after the game, after all of the celebrations, we get a knock on our dressing room door, and it's Thierry Henry. He's turned up asking for my shirt. I'm thinking 'has he got the wrong room?!' It's a special moment that will always stay with me, and I've still got that shirt to this day."

The Englishman made his debut against the Gunners for Blackburn in a 2-0 defeat and received some words of encouragement after thegame from another Arsenal and Premier League legend.

He said: "That Arsenal team communicated so well, mainly Adams and Keown, and the whole team just did not stop talking to each other, from start to finish.

"Even communicating over the tiniest of things, they had each other covered. It's something I've always carried with me as a player, and I look at teams now and wonder if anyone else is at the level those guys were.

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"The second thing I took from that game was something Ian Wright said to me at full-time – as I said, we lost the game 2-0, and unsurprisingly Wright scored both of their goals, but after the game he made a point of coming over to talk to me: "Keep that up, you'll go far, son."

Since retiring from football Beattie has been part of Garry Monk's back room staff at Birmingham, Leeds, Middlesbrough, Sheffield Wednesday and Swansea and was an assistant at Wigan.

He had a spell as manager of Accrington Stanley from May 2013- September 2014 winning 16 of his 58 games in charge.

The closest Beattie came to winning a trophy in his career was when he finished runner in the FA Cup with Southampton in 2003.

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