Aston Villa and England national team legend Emile Heskey shocked the world when he turned down offers from massive clubs such as Macclesfield Town, Charlton Athletic and Blackpool Practice Squad Reserves to sign with the A-League's Newcastle Jets last week, and fans of the Australian club are apparently quite excited; just days after the club began selling personalized shirts with the striker's name they've had to place an order for an additional 5,000 after the first run sold out. This is made all the more shocking by the fact that the shirts set back supporters $150 AUD, or somewhere in the neighborhood of $156 USD or £97. (Yes, I was looking at Emile Heskey shirts at the Newcastle Jets online store. What of it?)
As a fan of Emile Heskey and one that thinks he was unfairly maligned for much of his career, this absolutely warms my heart. The Powerhouse is a somewhat limited player, but things he did well he did better than almost any other player of his generation. The game at the Premier League level has passed by players of his ilk over the past few years, but he should thrive in the A-League. I personally was hoping that an MLS team unconcerned with the publicity blowback might take a chance on Heskey, but it's just wonderful to see him land with a club whose fans appreciate him and are excited to have him on board.
Good luck, Emile! I know I'll be watching more A-League this season than I ever have before.