On this day, 15 years ago: Henderson signs first professional contract with Canaries

Ian Henderson celebrates scoring against Millwall at Carrow Road in November 2003. Picture: Nick But

Ian Henderson celebrates scoring against Millwall at Carrow Road in November 2003. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: EDP / Archant 2003

Fifteen years ago today Ian Henderson signed a three-year contract after making his breakthrough at Norwich City – and the forward is still going strong in 2018.

Now aged 33 the Canaries academy product has gone on to become something of a club legend at Rochdale, scoring in their 2-2 draw at Championship side Millwall on Saturday in the FA Cup fourth round.

It was Henderson's 80th goal for Dale, in his 224th game for the League One club. Overall he now has 114 goals to his name in English football, from 514 appearances.

Originally from Thetford, Henderson was first introduced to the City team by Nigel Worthington as a 17-year-old back in October 2002, scoring in a 4-2 defeat at Wimbledon during just his second appearance.

His efforts earned a three-and-a-half-year deal shortly after his 18th birthday, telling the Norwich Evening News: 'I dreamt about it last night – signing a contract.

Never thought the day would come! 'Veteran Midfielder' ??

A post shared by IAN HENDERSON (@hendo2401) on

'I've always wanted to be a professional footballer and I'm very pleased. I've worked hard; do that and you reap the rewards.'

Worthington, after handing the teenager his first professional contract, added: 'He's just turned 18. He's got a lot of time, a lot of learning to do, but the nice thing is that he's willing to do that.'

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Henderson went on to score four goals in 21 games the next season, as the Canaries won the Division One title. He eventually joined Northampton at the end of his contract in 2007, following a loan spell at Rotherham, having scored a total of six goals in 79 games for Norwich.

After time with the Cobblers and Luton he spent a season with Turkish side Ankaragucu, before finding his feet back in England with Colchester United, joining Rochdale in March 2013 on loan, before joining permanently.

He thanked former City academy director Sammy Morgan for his influence last year, after scoring the 100th goal of his career.