Thierry Henry: When Chelsea players 'queued up' for Arsenal legend's shirt in 2005

Thierry Henry for Arsenal in 2005

Happy 45th birthday, Thierry Henry.

The Frenchman is true footballing royalty thanks to an illustrious career that saw him score a sickening amount of incredible goals, strutting his stuff and sending defenders to the shops across the globe.

Henry first rose to prominence as a young forward at Monaco, earning himself a move to Juventus. But it was his transfer from Turin to north London in 1999 that truly saw him announce himself to the world, signing for Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal.

Four Premier League Golden Boots, two Premier League Player of the Season awards, two Premier League titles, two FA Cups and 174 goals for the Gunners later, and the rest is history.

He would leave for Barcelona in 2007 after a remarkable reign with Arsenal that saw him establish himself as the club’s all-time leading scorer and arguably the greatest player to ever grace the Premier League – well, in our opinion, anyway.

Henry’s move to Barcelona wasn’t quite as historic, but he still strutted his stuff in supreme style for the Catalan giants in a three year spell, scoring goals for fun and being a part of the squad that lifted a historic continental treble under Pep Guardiola.

Thierry Henry in action for Barcelona
BARCELONA, SPAIN – DECEMBER 12: Thierry Henry of Barcelona in action during the La Liga match between Barcelona and Espanyol at the Camp Nou stadium Stadium on December 12, 2009 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

From there, a move to the New York Red Bulls followed as Henry ripped up the MLS, before making a brief, but endlessly emotional loan return to Arsenal in 2012.

He retired in 2014 as one of the game’s greatest forwards for both club and country, having also won the World Cup and the European Championships, and has since forged a successful career out of coaching and even bits of punditry.

And while we could just as easily wax lyrical about his charisma in the television studios, on his birthday, it’s only fair that we try and do justice to just how obscene of a player the insatiable Frenchman was in his pomp.

In fact, he was so good that he had Chelsea players ‘queueing up’ to try and take his shirt after the 2005 Community Shield, according to @Gunnersc0m on Twitter, who re-shared the incredible footage.

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Arsene Wenger’s Gunners faced off against a Chelsea side led by a young Jose Mourinho who had bulldozed their way to the 2004/05 Premier League title. Arsenal, meanwhile, saw off Manchester United on penalties in the FA Cup final to reach England’s iconic, season-opening contest.

Held at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, it was Chelsea who came out on top in a 2-1 victory, but Henry’s mere presence was enough to have some of the winning team shocked. Check out the video below.

WATCH: Chelsea players ‘queuing up’ for Henry’s shirt in 2005

Not only is he one of the greatest ever, Henry is also gracious in defeat. What a guy.

First, Shaun Wright-Phillips tries his luck by getting to the front of the queue and engaging in a chat with Henry, where he appears to signal that he’d like his shirt and appears to be told he can have it later.

William Gallas then wastes no time to force his way in as soon as Wright-Phillips is barely done speaking to Henry, hijacking the conversation with a handshake for his national team compatriot and immediately clutching the neck of his shirt with the other hand, again signalling for a shirt swap.

William Gallas and Claude Makelele challenge Robin van Persie
CARDIFF, UNITED KINGDOM – AUGUST 07: Robin Van Persie of Arsenal battles with William Gallas and Claude Makelele of Chelsea during the FA Community Shield match between Arsenal and Chelsea at The Millennium Stadium on August 7, 2005 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Phil Cole/Getty Images)

Henry seems to nod his head and gesture back towards the dressing room. Here’s hoping the kit man packed a few extra shirts for the forward that day, because they were clearly in high demand and understandably so.

Despite his excellence, Henry wasn’t able to rescue anything for Arsenal on the day. A brace from Didier Drogba sealed the win for Chelsea, with the Ivory Coast international bagging either side of a goal from Cesc Fabregas.

It’s hardly a reflection on his stellar career, though, and the fact he had such top professionals scrapping over the chance to get his shirt is testament to just how much of an icon he is. Many happy returns, Thierry.

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