Player Profile: Stephane Henchoz
Full Name: Stephane Henchoz
Date of Birth: 7th September 1974, Billens
Squad Number: 16
Internationals: Capped at Full level for Switzerland
Signed: June 1997 (1st time), September 2006 (current spell)
Previous Clubs: FC Bulle, Neuchatel Xamax (Both Switzerland), Hamburg (Germany), Liverpool, Celtic & Wigan Athletic
Stephane Henchoz began his footballing career in Switzerland with FC Bulle in the late 1980's before a move to Neuchatel Xamax in 1992.
With it long since becoming apparent he was a footballer of immense quality the 1995-1996 season saw a move to German football with Henchoz playing in the German Bundesliga with Hamburg. The following two seasons were to be highly successful for the Swiss International.
His performances in Germany brought him to the attention of others but it would be Rovers who signed him in June 1997 for a £3 million. Henchoz's former Swiss national coach Roy Hodgson had since taken over at Ewood Park so this was to be a deciding factor.
His consistent performances during the 1997-1998 and 1998-1999 seasons brought on advances from other top clubs and following Rovers' relegation from the Premiership at the end of the 1998-1999 season the club were powerless to keep him and he moved to Liverpool in the summer of 1999 for £3.5 million.
A highly successful six-year stint at Anfield saw a great central defensive partnership built up with Sami Hyypia. This partnership proved to be instrumental in Liverpool's treble winning season of 2001, winning the League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup.
When new Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez decided Henchoz wasn't for him Henchoz was released and joined Celtic on a free transfer in January 2005. He rarely featured at Celtic Park however during the final six months of the 2004-2005 season and was again released, this time by Celtic at its end.
In the summer of 2005 with newly promoted Wigan Athletic looking for experienced figures they turned to Henchoz who signed a one-year contract with the club for the 2005-2006 season. Henchoz made nearly thirty League and Cup appearances but struggled to hold down a regular place, particularly for the latter half of the season.
Wigan decided not to renew his deal in the summer of 2006 so he was left as a free agent… until Mark Hughes stepped in to re-sign him in September 2006. Although the transfer window had closed with Henchoz being a free agent he was able to sign immediately, signing a deal until the end of the 2006-2007 season.
The Swiss International, who has won over 60 caps made his first Premiership start against Tottenham Hotspur in November and although he did a good job first team chances will probably be limited, especially when Ryan Nelsen returns. He will however be quality and reliable cover; having arrived for free the club had almost nothing to lose.
Blackburn Rovers appearances and goals up to the start of the 2006-2007 Season
FA Cup: 6
League Cup: 4 (1 as sub)
Other (European etc.): 2
TOTAL: 83 - 0 goals
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