Plastics found in dolphins, seals, and whales in UK waters

first_imgDolphins, Environment, Mammals, Marine Animals, Marine Conservation, Marine Crisis, Marine Mammals, Microplastics, Oceans, Plastic, Pollution, Research, Whales In a paper published in the journal Scientific Reports last month, a research team from the UK’s University of Exeter and Plymouth Marine Laboratory detailed their findings after studying the digestive tracts of 50 individuals from 10 species of dolphins, seals, and whales that had been stranded on the coast of Britain.“Microplastics were ubiquitous with particles detected in every animal examined,” the authors of the study write.Just 5.5 microplastic particles were found in each animal, on average, which suggests that the particles might be simply passing through the marine mammals’ bodies, the researchers said. But the animals’ stomachs were found to contain more microplastics than their intestines, pointing to “a potential site of temporary retention,” they added. Researchers who examined 50 marine mammals that had washed up on Britain’s shores say they found microplastics in the guts of every single animal.In a paper published in the journal Scientific Reports last month, a research team from the UK’s University of Exeter and Plymouth Marine Laboratory detailed their findings after studying the digestive tracts of 50 individuals from 10 species of dolphins, seals, and whales that had been stranded on the coast of Britain. The researchers sought to determine the amount of microplastics and polymers the animals might have ingested as well as whether plastics are expelled from their bodies (via defecation, for instance) or if they are retained within their digestive tracts.“Microplastics were ubiquitous with particles detected in every animal examined,” the authors of the study write. Just 5.5 microplastic particles were found in each animal, on average, which suggests that the particles might be simply passing through the marine mammals’ bodies, the researchers said. But the animals’ stomachs were found to contain more microplastics than their intestines, pointing to “a potential site of temporary retention,” they added.“It’s shocking — but not surprising — that every animal had ingested microplastics,” the study’s lead author, Sarah Nelms of the University of Exeter and Plymouth Marine Laboratory, said in a statement. “The number of particles in each animal was relatively low (average of 5.5 particles per animal), suggesting they eventually pass through the digestive system, or are regurgitated. We don’t yet know what effects the microplastics, or the chemicals on and in them, might have on marine mammals.”The vast majority of the particles discovered in the marine mammals’ guts — 84 percent — were fibers, which come from sources like clothes, fishing nets, and toothbrushes. The other 16 percent were plastic fragments, which could have possibly come from food packaging and plastic bottles.“Microplastics in the marine environment originate from a variety of sources, including fragmentation of larger macro-plastic debris, pre-production pellets (nurdles) spilled during transportation and fabrication, outflow of wastewater containing microbeads from cosmetics and fibres from the washing of synthetic textiles, as well as road-run-off containing fragments of vehicle tyres and marking paint,” Nelms and co-authors note in the study.Nelms and team also write that they found a possible correlation between cause of death and microplastic abundance, as the animals included in the study that had died due to infectious diseases “had a slightly higher number of particles than those that died of trauma and other drivers of mortality.”It’s not possible to reach any firm conclusions regarding the significance of this observation, according to Professor Brendan Godley of the Centre for Ecology and Conservation at the University of Exeter, a co-author of the study. Still, he said, “Our findings are not good news.”Godley continued: “We are at the very early stages of understanding this ubiquitous pollutant. We now have a benchmark that future studies can be compared with. Marine mammals are ideal sentinels of our impacts on the marine environment, as they are generally long lived and many feed high up in the food chain.”The researchers write in the study that “further research is required to better understand the potential chronic effects of microplastic exposure on animal health, particularly as marine mammals are widely considered important sentinels for the implications of pollution for the marine environment.”It’s been estimated that as much as 8 million metric tons of plastic waste makes its way from land into Earth’s oceans every year. Previous studies have shown that filter-feeding marine megafauna like baleen whales, manta rays, and whale sharks are particularly susceptible to microplastic pollution in the world’s oceans. Researchers have also previously found microplastics in the guts of humans around the globe.Louise Edge, head of Greenpeace UK’s ocean plastics campaign, said of the present study’s findings: “It is ominous that every single marine mammal tested was found to have microplastics in their digestive system, and it shows the scale of plastic pollution in our seas. This is yet more evidence that governments and big businesses need to focus their efforts on drastically reducing the use and waste of plastics, to stem the flow of plastic pollution into our rivers and oceans and into the mouths of marine wildlife.” Greenpeace Research Laboratories provided support to the research team behind the study.Study co-author Dr. Penelope Lindeque, head of the marine plastics research group at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, said it was “disconcerting” that microplastics were found in the gut of every single animal included in the study and echoed the call for reducing the amount of plastic waste dumped into Earth’s oceans.“Indeed, from our work over the years we have found microplastic in nearly all the species of marine animals we have looked at; from tiny zooplankton at the base of the marine food web to fish larvae, turtles and now dolphins, seals and whales,” Lindeque said.“We don’t yet know the effects of these particles on marine mammals. Their small size means they may easily be expelled, but while microplastics are unlikely to be the main threat to these species, we are still concerned by the impact of the bacteria, viruses and contaminants carried on the plastic. This study provides more evidence that we all need to help reduce the amount of plastic waste released to our seas and maintain clean, healthy and productive oceans for future generations.”Plastic litter on a beach. Image licensed under CC0 – Public Domain.CITATIONS• Germanov, E. S., Marshall, A. D., Bejder, L., Fossi, M. C., & Loneragan, N. R. (2018). Microplastics: No small problem for filter-feeding megafauna. Trends in Ecology & Evolution. doi:10.1016/j.tree.2018.01.005• Jambeck, J. R., Geyer, R., Wilcox, C., Siegler, T. R., Perryman, M., Andrady, A., … & Law, K. L. (2015). Plastic waste inputs from land into the ocean. Science, 347(6223), 768-771. doi:10.1126/science.1260352• Nelms, S. E., Barnett, J., Brownlow, A., Davison, N. J., Deaville, R., Galloway, T. S., … & Godley, B. J. (2019). Microplastics in marine mammals stranded around the British coast: ubiquitous but transitory?. Scientific reports, 9(1), 1075. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-37428-3FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by Mike Gaworeckicenter_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Theater features music, dance

first_imgLANCASTER – Jazz, Celtic fiddle music, cowboy romance and modern American dance are featured during February at the Lancaster Performing Arts Center. Jazz musician and vocalist Marc Macisso, joined by a keyboardist, bassist and drummer, performs at 8 p.m. Feb. 4 in the center’s J.P. Eliopulos Family Theater. Tickets are $14. Barrage – consisting of seven violinists/vocalists, one drummer, one bass player, a guitarist and a percussionist – combines music and dance on Feb. 13. The group, which sold out the Lancaster theater in 2002, is expected to play selections including “Bridge Over Troubled Waters,” “Live and Let Die,” and Benny Goodman’s “Sing, Sing, Sing.” Tickets are $27 and $22, or $14 for youth. Riders in the Sky returns to Lancaster to celebrate Valentine’s Day with an 8 p.m. Feb. 14 concert featuring music from the “Cowboys in Love” album and an interactive Valentine’s Day short play from “Riders Radio Theatre on the Road.” Tickets are $28. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson Dance company Ailey II performs “How Small a Thought,” “Beauty,” “Bitter Suite” and “Revelations” in a 7 p.m. Feb. 19 performance. Tickets are $28. Motown legend Smokey Robinson performs Feb. 17, but his concert is sold out. Children’s auditions are 4 p.m. Jan. 30 for the Missoula Children’s Theater traveling production of “The Jungle Book,” which will be performed at 7 p.m. Feb. 3 and 3 p.m. Feb. 4. Tickets are $12, or $5 for ages 17 and younger. Tickets and information for all shows may be obtained by calling the LPAC box office at (661) 723-5950, visiting the box office between noon and 6 p.m. weekdays or logging onto The Lancaster Performing Arts Center is part of the city of Lancaster’s Parks, Recreation and Arts Department and is at 750 W. Lancaster Blvd. in downtown Lancaster. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more


first_imgONE OF THE county’s best know chip shops has cut a third off its menu prices in a bid to boost business.Mr Chippy, off the Port Road roundabout in Letterkenny, announced the move yesterday with the new prices available until 10pm each day.It is similar to a move in 2009 when the owners cut prices in half in a bid to beat the recession. With dozens of eating out options in the town, it’s understood Mr Chippy is fighting to retain a share of the takeaway market.FAMOUS DONEGAL CHIPPY SLASHES PRICES was last modified: January 9th, 2011 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Mustangs Football Season Comes To A Close

first_imgThe Smoky Mountain High School Mustangs football season came to an end for the third season in sequence at Denver, North Carolina.  When Smoky Mountain was the lower seed from the conference in 2014 and 2015 the Mustangs traveled to Denver to take on perennial conference champion East Lincoln. The East Lincoln Mustangs did not win the 2016 conference title but still Smoky Mountain was bracketed with East Lincoln and a road trip to Denver, NC. The Smoky Mountain High School Mustangs shocked and quieted the East Lincoln fans by taking an early 14-0 lead before the grumbling began however East Lincoln broke two plays in excess of 65 yards and quickly capped two scoring opportunities with points on the board to tie the game then went ahead after a thirty five yard punt return. A pass interference penalty gave East Lincoln the ball at the Smoky Mountain 23. A run and quick pass play gave East Lincoln the lead for the first time at 21 to 14 with 47 seconds to go in the half.  Smoky Mountain returned the kick-off to the East Lincoln 44 then Nate Coffee went to work. A couple of deep and failed tries showed that Coffee had the arm to throw the ball on target to the end zone. As time expired Coffee delivered a strike to Austin Bumgarner in the end zone. Bumgarner was knocked down by the defense. Lying flat on his back in the end zone and three East Lincoln players snatching the ball from each other the football fell into Austin Bumgarner’s arms for a touchdown. Mackie hit the PAT and the score was tied going into the dressing room.  Smoky Mountain would not score again. East Lincoln raced for a four touchdown lead in the second half and took the win 49 to 21.Smoky Mountain finished the season with their most wins since 2000. These young men certainly deserve the congratulations of the community. Some of these players will be making a fast transition to basketball; others will be suiting up for wrestling, for several players baseball practice is just around the corner but Strength and Conditioning Coach Klippa will have all the athletes getting ready for their next season.Meanwhile East Lincoln clipped West Caldwell 34 to 14 on Friday and will be facing Monroe. Should they win that game they will face the winner of  the Hunter Huss and Shelby game this Friday night.last_img read more

Farmers should prepare for hurricane season

first_imgAgriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler’s annual plea for farmers to prepare for hurricane season is especially poignant this year, considering many are still recovering from Hurricane Matthew.“Hurricane Matthew is a painfully fresh reminder of just how important it is to have an emergency plan for your farm, food company or agribusiness,” Troxler said. “Take precautions and think through your plan now, and discuss it with your employees and family. Doing this can help no matter what emergency strikes.”Scientists at N.C. State University are predicting 11 to 15 named storms in the Atlantic basin this year, numbers in line with the average since 1950. Of those storms, four to six could become hurricanes. The Atlantic hurricane season typically runs June 1 to Nov. 30, but this year has already seen one tropical storm, Arlene, which made a brief appearance in April.Planning helps farmers protect their families, workers, equipment and buildings, Troxler said. “Livestock operations should maintain emergency plans that address power needs and on-site feed capabilities,” he said. “Also, identify places to relocate animals from low-lying areas. We saw farmers take those precautions before Matthew, and I believe it played a role in reducing animal losses from the storm.”Farmers and businesses should review insurance policies to ensure they have proper coverage, including wind, hail, flood and catastrophic coverage if necessary. Some coverage takes 30 days to go into effect.The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has a website,, with links and resources for different types of agribusinesses to plan and recover from a disaster. A Farm Emergency Plan Template is available on the site to help organize information that is needed after a disaster.last_img read more

SA gears for a nano future

first_img27 November 2007South Africa has launched two new innovation centres to help the country compete globally in the fast-developing fields of nanotechnology and nanoscience.The National Centre for Nano-Structured Materials (NCNSM) is based at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) campus in Pretoria, while the DST/Mintek Nanotechnology Innovation Centre is based in Johannesburg.Speaking at the launch in Pretoria on Monday, Science and Technology Minister Mosibudi Mangena said nanotechnology could be used to address some of South Africa’s social and economic challenges.“We therefore have to create an environment conducive to harnessing the potential benefits of this promising field,” he said, adding that the scientists working at the new centres would be engaged in research “with identified, tangible measurables.“They will have to be at the forefront, the tone-setters and catalysts of the country’s research and development programme in nanotechnology.”According to online encyclopedia Wikipedia, nanotechnology refers broadly to a field of applied science and technology whose unifying theme is the control of matter on the atomic and molecular scale, normally 1 to 100 nanometers, and the fabrication of devices within that size range. A nanometre is one-billionth of a metre.The initial focus of research at the centre in Pretoria will be on the fabrication of novel nano-structured materials, the synthesis of polymer nano-composites, and materials modelling and simulation.The DST/Mintek centre will focus on the application of nanotechnology in the areas of water, health, mining and minerals. Besides the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Mintek, the centre pulls together the Medical Research Council, the Water Research Commission and the universities of Johannesburg, the Western Cape and Rhodes.Both centres will also have a strong focus on human capital development by training and developing young scientists.“We are still in the initial wave of nanotechnology, in which most of the nanotechnology-based products on the market are linked to defence and national security applications or to sporting goods and consumer-convenience items,” said NCNSM chief researcher Suprakas Ray.Within five to 10 years, said Ray, sophisticated electronic devices using nanoscale circuitry and memory could be expected, and within 10 to 15 years the technology could expand into pharmaceutical products, drug delivery systems and health-monitoring devices.SAinfo reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

World Bank Assumes Control of Google Map Data

first_imgjon mitchell Related Posts Last December, Google overhauled Map Maker’s editing tools to make it easier for any Google Maps user to add new data.What do you think? Is the World Bank a good choice for Google as a partner? Share your thoughts in the comments. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Google announced a partnership with the World Bank today to make Google Map Maker data more accessible to government organizations in disaster scenarios. Google Map Maker is the tool for crowd-sourcing the editing and maintenance of Google’s world map. Its user-generated data include locations of hospitals, schools, settlements, water sources and minor roads.Access to these data will help governments, NGOs, researchers and individuals plan without waiting for the changes to be approved and added to the official maps. World Bank partner organizations, such as government and U.N. agencies, can contact World Bank offices to request access to the data. Kenya, South Sudan, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Zambia, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Moldova, Mozambique, Nepal and Haiti will pilot the project.Google’s New GatekeeperThis partnership could improve response time and effectiveness in crises in underserved areas of the world. It’s just a shame that Google has decided to compete with Ushahidi and other open-source efforts to solve this problem. Access to Google Map Maker data is privileged, and Google has chosen the mother of all elite gatekeepers, the World Bank, to facilitate this program.The World Bank has supported much-needed online mapping efforts, such as the April 2011 project in South Sudan that enabled Google to put the new country on the map. It has also financially backed apps supporting economic development in a worldwide contest for software developers. In partnership with academic institutions, the World Bank has also backed a Web-based knowledge platform for urban development.These are all great efforts, but they establish a familiar pattern for the World Bank. In Web technology, just as in global economic development, the World Bank has positioned itself as an unavoidable, privileged gatekeeper, and this time Google helped.Community mapper in Kampala, Uganda (via Google LatLong)No More Open SourceWe’ve reached out to Ushahidi for comment on the news, and we’ll update with the response. While Ushahidi‘s non-profit, open-source efforts carry on, Google is closing off access to its mapping platform upon which great works of software were once built. Having realized the enormous value of Google Maps as a resource, Google decided to start charging for API access last year.That’s Google’s commercial prerogative, but its proprietary efforts are now in competition with the open-source community. Today’s partnership with the World Bank is a clearer example than the murky history of access to the Google Maps API. Google Map Maker is a moderated Google program, and Google has selected the World Bank as an arbiter of its data. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#Google#Government#Non-Profits#web 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Brain Food for Today’s Cross-Channel Retailer. (That’s You Too.)

first_imgEvery now and then you come across an analyst report that hits the bullseye with a “twaaannngg” that resonates long after the initial reading. Such is “The State of Online Commerce 2018: High Hopes” from Brian Kilcourse and Steve Rowan of Retail Systems Research.Why is this one so good? Well, there’s RSR’s methodology. They ask the penetrating questions. And, they separate survey responses into two categories: Those from today’s retail winners (with total, all-channel, year-on-year revenue growth above this year’s benchmark), and those from retail laggards (with revenue growth below).In addition, despite the title, they addresses what we see as the single largest strategic (and thus, single largest tactical IT) issue in today’s retail:  The winning of today’s cross-channel shopper.A Selection of Key TakeawaysWinners are clearly embracing the merger of digital and physical—and see digital commerce as critical to their futures.No surprise. For those with eyes to see, that’s how she shops. To quote Kilcourse and Rowan:Winning retailers don’t merely accept that the consumer shopping journey often begins in the digital domain, they are encouraging it….”  Winners:Are turning stores into multi-capability nodes within a brand-wide fulfillment BOPUS, extended aisle, ship-to-home—the store is closer to the shopper than the regional distribution center. In addition, operational costs can be aggregated in the store—and driven down, over-time, through process innovation and technology investment.Agree, by a 5-to-3 ratio, that identifying and enabling customer journeys is critical to digital channel (and I would argue, overall) success. They also agree that “if we don’t offer a digital selling capability, our stores will die.”Worry, by a little less than a 2-to-1 ratio, that competitors are ”out-innovating us in engaging with consumers.” And that new consumer digital devices and interfaces (think image and voice recognition) are emerging “faster than we can keep up.”See, at a 3-to-2 ratio, that organizational silos are standing in the way of more effective operations across all selling channels. And are calling for both more coordination between stores and digital channels, and the investment in a streamlined technology platform or infrastructure. See a much higher value in the technologies that enable optimal omni-channel or unified commerce retail capabilities, such as real-time inventory visibility, personalized search results, and through-the-journey integration of content and product information.Laggards, on the other hand:Are, to a meaningful degree, more focused on the price sensitivity, higher costs per transaction, and resultant lower margins of e-commerce than the opportunities it provides.More focused on wet ankles than preparing a boat to rise with the incoming tide? Other Important PointsIf we take the RSR survey results at face value, it’s clear that industry decision-makers still fail to grasp that retail’s value proposition has changed dramatically—and that product at nearly every price point has been commoditized. Only six percent of survey respondents would admit that their products aren’t exciting any more. Yet 65 percent said that the biggest challenge they face is that “everyone is selling the same product.”My guess:  The 65 percent also know that their products aren’t exciting. Odds are that no one wants to admit it. Corporate heresy is dangerous, even when in the confessional.Retail metrics need to change. Of course. Traditional “store-for-store” measures simply don’t reflect today’s reality of a digitally-driven shopper journey.Personalization is high on everyone’s list, but “personalization doesn’t necessarily mean one-to-one, or ‘curated.’” Thank you, RSR – this is a term that the retail tech industry uses promiscuously, but with little understanding of what it means operationally. Coupons in the aisle? Please.From Kilcourse and Rowan’s perspective, this is all about relevance—and to be relevant to a consumer, the retailer must understand the context of the consumer’s need—a context that can be gleaned from close attention to the path-to-purchase journey.Thanks, RSR.  Very good brain food here.Tell me what you think.#IamIntellast_img read more

Where are the haters now? Henderson on brink of glory

first_imgReal Madrid v Liverpool Jordan Henderson – the much-maligned Liverpool skipper who can write his name into Anfield history Neil Jones Click here to see more stories from this author Liverpool Correspondent Last updated 1 year ago 16:00 5/23/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Jordan Henderson Liverpool Getty Images Real Madrid v Liverpool UEFA Champions League Real Madrid Liverpool Opinion The Reds’ captain has been criticised throughout his career but can lead Jurgen Klopp’s men to immortality in Kiev this weekend It promises to be a career-defining moment.When Jordan Henderson leads Liverpool out at the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium on Saturday evening, he will be looking to join an elite club.Only four men have captained the Reds to European Cup glory. Emlyn Hughes did it twice, Phil Thompson, Graeme Souness and Steven Gerrard once each. Legends, one and all. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Were Henderson to add his name to that list, it would confirm his place in Anfield history. And as supporters prepare for long, tiring, expensive trips this week, it is worth reflecting on their captain’s own journey to Kiev.Surprising? Oh, aye. Thrilling? You bet. Arduous? Just a bit.In many ways, Henderson’s story mirrors Liverpool’s. It is one of courage and determination, belief and redemption. There has been the doubt, the despair and the disappointment; now there is the hope, the dream.It is approaching six years since he was called into a city-centre hotel room to be told by Brendan Rodgers that he could leave the club. Liverpool were keen to sign Clint Dempsey from Fulham, who in turn had made an offer for Henderson. It was one the Reds were happy to accept.Henderson cried that afternoon, played 90 minutes against Hearts in the Europa League that evening and, after speaking with his agent and his father, made a decision the next morning. He would stay and fight, prove Rodgers wrong, prove everyone wrong.That’s been his life at Liverpool, proving people wrong. He’s had seven years of it. Few players give more to the cause than he does, but few take more flak while doing so.But the best way to end an argument in football is with a trophy, and they don’t come bigger than the Champions League. Glory in Kiev would not just be the realisation of a lifelong dream for Henderson but the perfect response to his critics, too.Who could begrudge him it? Henderson has worked tirelessly to make himself a success at Anfield, his dedication, resilience and selflessness a lesson to any aspiring footballer. In an era of egos, he is the antidote; the humble leader of whom Liverpool can and should be proud.Jordan Henderson Liverpool PS“A team always needs someone like Jordan,” says Dejan Lovren. “He’s a workaholic on the pitch, and you need that. And off the pitch, he’s the same. He plays a really important role.”Speak to any Liverpool player and they’ll tell you the same. Henderson is not one for big, rousing speeches – though he will often say a few words before a match or at half-time – instead leading through example.His professionalism never wavers, whether on the training pitch, in the gym, in front of the media or in conversation with team-mates, management or supporters. He’s tee-total, controversy-free, utterly dedicated to his career.His colleagues appreciate it, even if some supporters don’t. When Mohamed Salah was awarded the PFA Player of the Year last month, he asked Henderson to accompany him to the ceremony. It was a show of respect to his captain; Salah, like many others, appreciates the role Henderson has played in helping him settle at the club.The man himself would blush at that suggestion. “I’m not particularly into people giving me credit,” he says. “I prefer talking about how well others are doing because that’s what I want. That’s what I try to do as a captain: give them a platform where they can go and perform as best they can.”On the pitch, Henderson is demanding, aggressive – “an angry man” according to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and one continually in the ear of referees and team-mates. He points and he screams and he talks and he encourages. And if you let your standards drop, he’s on you.An image from the Champions League semi-final second leg against Roma sticks in the mind; Liverpool were lost amid the celebrations at the final whistle, yet Henderson sought out Loris Karius, asking the goalkeeper why, a few minutes previously, he had chosen to head a ball clear from his penalty area instead of catching it.Standards, you see?Another, different kind of gesture stood out that night, Henderson ensuring that a flag bearing the name of Sean Cox, the Liverpool supporter left fighting for his life after being attacked by Roma fans outside Anfield, made its way onto the pitch. A touch of class, like the letter and the signed jersey sent by Henderson to Cox’s local GAA club in the Irish town of Dunboyne the previous week.Liverpool players hold a banner in tribute to injured fan Sean CoxThese things matter when you’re the captain of Liverpool. You’re representing a city, a community, a football institution. There’s a need to do things right, with decency and dignity. You must be grounded, humble, strong-minded, socially aware.Performances matter too, of course, and Henderson’s have, by and large, been good this season – better than his critics would suggest. Against Roma, he won more tackles over the two legs than any player, while against Manchester City in the quarter-final first leg, he was immense.  “He’s a better player than people think,” says Gary Lineker, who will host BT Sport’s coverage of the final this weekend. “I think he’s perhaps capable of hitting more forward passes than he does, but at the same time, he doesn’t give it away, he’s got great energy and he’s a natural leader.”He has had to modify his game at Liverpool; he joined as a free-running midfield player, tasked with breaking the lines and creating chances, but has been moved into a more fixed position as a No.6 under Klopp.Injuries may have played a part in that – in particular, a lengthy, painful battle against plantar fasciitis, a debilitating condition which affects the heel and foot – but Henderson’s passing range, ability to win the ball and communication skills are valued by the manager in a deeper, more tactically demanding role. There is, unquestionably, trust between the two, even if some supporters continue to question the 27-year-old.“If somebody doesn’t see his value, then what I can I do?” Klopp said back in January. “Please, write it: Jordan Henderson is a brilliant football player.”In March, he spoke of the “incredible job” his skipper has been doing. “You don’t get extra money for doing it,” he added. “There are a lot more duties and not a lot more rights, to be honest.”Jordan Henderson Klopp Liverpool PSMore scrutiny, too. More criticism and more unflattering comparisons with the greats that have gone before him. If you want to start an argument between Liverpool fans, Henderson is usually a good place to start.Thankfully, he has a thicker skin than most.From a personal perspective, I can recall a conversation with him about a year into his Liverpool career. I asked if it hurt when fans questioned him, when they said he wasn’t good enough or that he should have been sold. “Not at all,” he replied. “They are the ones who pay their money. It’s up to me to change their opinion, isn’t it?”It’s an admirable mindset, one which has not changed since. “I can accept criticism,” he said earlier this week. “Criticism is healthy. It gives you that extra little bit inside you to prove people wrong, to use it as energy, to use it as fuel.”That’s Henderson, built to last, selfless to the core and powered by doubters. For seven years, he’s given his all for the cause.Now, on Saturday, he gets the chance to complete his journey, to sit on top of the world.History beckons for Liverpool’s captain. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img read more