Thierry Henry: When Arsenal legend wore Portsmouth shirt and clapped their fans in 2004

On March 6, 2004, Thierry Henry was at his unplayable best in Arsenal’s FA Cup clash with Portsmouth.

The Gunners travelled to Fratton Park looking to book their place in the semi-finals of the competition.

And they did so in style as they romped to a 5-1 victory.

Arsenal’s main man, Henry, bagged two goals and was scintillating in his side’s win.

With the north London side five goals up with 20 minutes remaining, Arsene Wenger decided to give his star player a rest and substitute him.

Henry left the pitch to a standing ovation from Portsmouth fans.

Thierry Henry in action for Arsenal against Portsmouth in 2004
PORTSMOUTH, ENGLAND – MAY 4: Thierry Henry of Arsenal (R) evades the tackle from Amdy Faye of Portsmouth during the FA Barclaycard Premiership match between Portsmouth and Arsenal at Fratton Park on May 4, 2004 in Portsmouth, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

And, to show his appreciation, Henry made a brilliant gesture to the home supporters after the game.

After switching shirts with Lomano Lua-Lua, Henry decided to put on his opponent’s shirt and applaud the home fans.

It made for a brilliant moment and you can watch it below…

Speaking after the game, Henry said: “I wore the Portsmouth shirt for those special fans. They were singing my name, asking me to give them a wave and all that. I’ve never experienced that in my life. This was an away game and I was from the other team. They really are tremendous.”

Henry’s brilliant highlights from the match have been compiled by YouTuber user souster98. View them below…

Matty Taylor played for Portsmouth that day and he spoke very highly about Henry’s performance.

“He fully deserved it [the applause],” Taylor said, per talkSPORT.

“Football fans have a great affinity to their own club but sometimes you just need to applaud brilliance and that evening they were well within their rights to give that gesture.

“Thierry was unplayable. It was just a shame that I was at left back and he kept drifting over to my side.

“And that night, we just couldn’t stop him.

“I have never been that sort of guy to ask opposition players for their shirts after games, unless I know them. But I do look back now, especially in that game.

“Just think of all the names I would have hung up around my house!”

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