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Jordan Henderson defended by ex-Liverpool teammate over England boos

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Liverpool midfielder Harvey Elliott has leapt to the defence of former teammate Jordan Henderson after he was booed by England fans.

The 33-year-old captained the Three Lions in their 1-0 win at home to Australia in a friendly on Friday night. However, upon being substituted on the hour mark, he was booed off by the Wembley crowd.

Dissent towards Henderson is believed to stem from his decision to join Al Ettifaq in Saudi Arabia, where homosexuality is illegal and punishable by death. Henderson was previously a visible and strong ally of the LGBTQ+ community but faced widespread criticism for seemingly walking back on this stance.

England manager Gareth Southgate hit back at fans who booed Henderson during his post-match press conference, while the midfielder has since claimed that he could not understand why he was jeered.

Elliott, who is on England Under-21 duty and was also present at Wembley, has admitted that it was hard seeing a former colleague in Henderson treated in this way.

“It’s upsetting, it’s not nice to see. Hendo is a massive inspiration, not just to myself but to many around the world. After what he has done for English football it’s not nice to see,” he said.

“It’s his decision, it’s his career. As a nation we need to get behind these players and support them. It wasn’t nice but knowing Hendo I’m sure it hasn’t fazed him. He’s a positive person. He just wants to do the best for himself in his career.”

When asked if he had messaged Henderson about Friday’s ordeal, Elliott added: “I haven’t yet, I didn’t want to make too much of a fuss about it, no-one should.

“It’s a few individuals who have different points of views. I don’t think he would take it to heart too much. He has been through a lot in his career and it’s just another barrier he is going to run through.”