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All-action Hendrie was so hard to pin down.

Byline: Anthony Vickers Sports reporter anthony.vickers@eveninggazette.co.uk

BARREL.CHESTED full-back botherer John Hendrie remains a firm favourite with Boro fans.

In fact "a player like Johhnie Hendrie" is regularly cited as the missing ingredient whenever the team's ill are dissected.

And it is hard to disagree. Hendrie was an allaction, direct player who made things happen. He could play as a wideman making eyecatching surges down the wing - we have a song about that, don't we kids - or through the middle where his twisting and turning and darting movement around the box caused all kinds of trouble for defenders. He could drop deep to link up well with midfield, hold the ball up well and use his "low centre of gravity" to keep attentive defenders at bay and his jinking runs often won free-kicks in dangerous areas... sometimes in suspiciously theatrical style.

Hendrie arrived at Boro at the second time of asking.

Bruce Rioch had tried to sign him when he was a hot prospect at Bradford but he joined Newcastle instead to play alongside Mirandinha.

The Geordies were relegated the following season and the emerging Scot then joined Leeds for an uncomfortable and short spell under Sgt-Major Wilkinson before he signed for Colin Todd at Boro for PS500,000 in the summer of 1990.

t hit, linking up quickly with was perhaps with the arrival e the following year that he He was an instant Bernie Slaven but it of Lennie Lawrence really blossomed.

ine that also included Paul started to tear into defendnces and chip in with vital med to promotion and then ural Premier League.

In a fluid frontli Wilkinson, Hendrie ers, carve out chan goals as Boro storm played in the inauguHe was hugely pop some Park. and reg player of the year award.

pular with the crowd at Ayregularly won the supporters' gong as well as the official ctable 56 goals in 219 games dmark ones.

He scored a respe including some landHe not only got th he last goal at the ground - he got both in the final league fixture against Luton in May 1995 - but also what is often rated the best ever at the ground, a weaving run that started near the Cenotaph before slotting home against Millwall in November 1990.

Hendrie made the move into the new era as Bryan Robson's Riverside Revolution took off but a flurry of big name new signings - Nicky Barmby, Juninho, Mikkel Beck and Fabrizio Ravanelli - saw him edged down the pecking order.

He left to join Barnsley (alongside first Paul Wilkinson and then later Craig Hignett) and became a legend there too as he first helped fire them into an historic first-ever promotion to the top flight then briefly was player-manager as they battled against the drop.

CAPTION(S):

John Hendrie celebrates a Bernie Slaven goal against Brighton in 1992

Colin Cooper found John Hendrie too hot to handle in a clash against Nottingham Forest in March 1996

Right, Hendrie leaves the Charlton defence in his wake to get in a shot

Left, John Hendrie leaves Peter Beagrie floundering before skipping past Paul Hardyman in a Tees-Wear derby

John Hendrie and Paul Wilkinson celebrate a goal against Barnsley at Ayresome Park in 1993

John Hendrie scores Boro's first goal against Luton in the last league match at Ayresome Park.Hendrie also hit the second which he recreated in 2005 at The Holgate on the Ayresome Park estate
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:May 14, 2014
Words:575
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