Ian Henderson has been reflecting on scoring his 100th Rochdale goal…
He achieved the memorable milestone in Dale’s 2-1 Emirates FA Cup victory over Gateshead at the Crown Oil Arena.
A century of goals wasn’t the only thing Hendo was marking on the day, though. Something that was summed up in his celebration.
“On a personal note, it [his 100th goal] was up there with the best achievements of my life,” said the Dale Captain.
“I married two achievements today. Me and my partner are expecting our first child, so it was a nice way to announce it to the fans, the other players and the directors. It was a magical moment.
“The manager and a couple of players that I’m relatively close to knew, but it’s our personal life so we kept it a little bit of a secret for as long as we could. It was hard to be honest, when you’re hearing people speak about their families and children. I found myself asking questions ‘what do you do on your day off with the little one and things like that’,” he laughed.
Hendo joined Dale back in February 2013 and he netted his first ever goal for the club on his home debut, in a 4-1 win over Wycombe Wanderers.
Since then, he has gone on to make 275appearances for Rochdale, with his career tally currently standing at 554.
“We all have people in our lives who come along and help us and help us develop. The first person I’d like to acknowledge is a guy Sammy Morgan, who was my Academy Director when I began as a youth player at Norwich.
“He messaged me this morning and said ‘don’t rush it’. He was a natural goal scorer, a Northern Ireland international and played for Aston Villa. He helped me at the beginning of my football career – he is an unbelievable guy.
“The second person to have an incredible impact on my life and my professional life is Keith Hill. I owe a lot to Sammy for believing in me as a young kid and as a young adult, and to Keith Hill for believing in me when no-one else really did. I also owe a lot to my family and friends who have supported me along the journey, because you don’t really see it often, do you?
“Yes, players score 100 goals in their career, but not at one club. Words like loyalty get lost in society, but I’ve been incredibly loyal to the football club and that has been reflected back. It’s humbling. I’ve spent six years at the football club and what an unbelievable journey it has been.”
Hendo has enjoyed great successes with Rochdale in the FA Cup during his time at the club and he believes it’s fitting that his 100th goal came in the competition.
“Personally, it’s a magical cup for myself with the goals that I scored last year and in previous years. “Today my goal has helped the club go through to the next round. I and the rest of the players know what it means to the football club from a financial point of view. It’s a bit more revenue coming in, and we need to do the business in the second round.”
Watch the full interview on iFollow.