The Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets is pleased to announce the signing of former England international and Premier League star Emile Heskey as the Club’s marquee player for the 2012/13 season.
The FA Cup, Football League Cup and UEFA Cup winner joins the Jets after playing 28 matches for Aston Villa in the English Premier League last season.
“To secure the signature of Emile is a fantastic result for the Jets and for the A-League,” Jets CEO Robbie Middleby said.
“Emile has played our game at the highest level in England, both internationally and domestically, and he finished last season playing with Aston Villa in the English Premier League.
“We are aware that Emile had other offers but he is genuinely excited to be a part of what we want to achieve at the Jets.
“He was particularly interested in our Emerging Jets Program as this is what most Premier League Clubs have established already.
“Emile’s relationship with former English Premier League players Michael Bridges and Robbie Fowler assisted him in understanding what the A-League has to offer.
“We would like to thank the FFA for their assistance in securing Emile, in particular the A-League’s new CEO Damien De Bohun.”
Coach Gary van Egmond shares the sentiments of Middleby.
“Emile is someone who has unbelievable experience, having played for England 62 times,” van Egmond said.
“His effectiveness in being able to hold the ball up and invite other players to play off him is going to be a big benefit to us.
“He’s someone who can really lead the line and is exactly what we’ve been missing.”
In total, the striker has made 516 Premier League appearances during a stellar 17-year career in England’s top flight, scoring 110 goals.
The 34-year-old is best known for his time at Liverpool FC where he played 150 league matches and found the back of the net on 39 occasions for the Reds during five seasons at the Club. Heskey scored 22 goals in all competitions when Liverpool won the FA Cup, Football League Cup and UEFA Cup treble in 2000/01.
As well as Aston Villa and Liverpool, Heskey has played for top English Clubs Leicester City, Birmingham City and Wigan Athletic.
Heskey also brings valuable international experience to the Jets, having represented England on 62 occasions and scoring seven goals. He has played in two World Cups for the Three Lions, and played in every match of England’s 2010 FIFA World Cup campaign in South Africa.
“This is an exciting new period in my life and I am looking forward to making a special contribution to the A-League and most importantly, to the Jets,” Heskey said.
“I hope I can help grow football at the grassroots level and also provide advice to young players at the Jets.
“The season isn’t far away, so I will be in Newcastle soon, training with my new teammates and be ready for kick off on October 7.”
Having played against Heskey during his time in the English Premier League, Jets striker Michael Bridges knows better than most what Heskey is capable of.
“I think Emile is a tremendous signing for the Jets,” Bridges said.
“He’s just left Aston Villa where he was playing in the Premier League last season and that says a lot about his quality.
“It’s a massive coup for the Club to bring someone of his stature to Newcastle.”
Bridges said Heskey would not only prove to be a goal-scoring threat himself, but would also provide goal-scoring opportunities for his teammates.
“He’s a big target man who is a powerhouse, a work horse and can lead the forward line,” Bridges said.
“If you look at his strike-partners at the teams he’s played with, they’ve all been goal-scoring machines because of his work rate and supply.”
Born: Leicester, England
Date of Birth: January 11, 1978
1994-2000 Leicester City 154 appearances (40 goals)
2000-2004 Liverpool FC 150 appearances (39 goals)
2004-2006 Birmingham City 68 appearances (14 goals
2006-2009 Wigan Athletic 82 appearances (15 goals)
2009-2012 Aston Villa 92 appearances (9 goals)
1999-2010 England 62 appearances (7 goals)
UEFA Cup winner (2000-01)
FA Cup winner (2000-01)
Football League Cup winner (1996-97, 1999-00, 2000-01, 2002-03)
UEFA Super Cup winner (2001)
FA Charity Shield winner (2001)
Heskey signs, 11,000 Members wanted. Make your commitment at www.newcastlejets.com.au or phone 4907 8711. For supporters wanting to purchase casual tickets, tickets have gone on sale today and can be bought HERE.