Saturday, 20 Apr 2024

Thierry Henry’s Number 14: The Story Behind the Iconic Shirt

thierry henry number 12

Thierry Henry, the legendary Arsenal striker, recently shared the story behind his iconic number 14 shirt. In an Instagram live chat with former teammate Cesc Fabregas, Henry revealed that he actually wanted to wear the number 12, but it was already taken when he joined the club. Instead, he opted for the number 14, which he made famous during his prolific eight-year stint at Arsenal.

A Second Choice Becomes Iconic

Henry’s first choice for a shirt number was actually the number 12, worn by his idol Marco van Basten. However, when he arrived at Highbury, he discovered that Christopher Wreh already had that number. Not wanting to take it away from Wreh, Henry decided to pay homage to another Dutch legend, Johan Cruyff, by wearing the number 14 instead.

Henry and Fabregas

During the Instagram chat, Fabregas asked Henry about his favorite goal, and the conversation naturally led to the topic of shirt numbers. Henry explained, “I took the number 14 at Arsenal because Christopher Wreh had number 12, so I didn’t want to take it off him. That’s the reason. I didn’t want to take it off him.”

The Coincidences that Made Number 12 Significant

While the number 14 became synonymous with Henry’s incredible career at Arsenal, he did have the opportunity to wear the number 12 for a brief period. When Henry made a loan return to the club during the 2011-2012 season, he donned the number 12 as a tribute to Marco van Basten. And it was during this time that a series of coincidences made the number 12 even more significant.

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Henry scored a remarkable goal against Leeds United, and the timing and symbolism were uncanny. It was the 78th minute, and it was his 12th game against Leeds. Furthermore, the year was turning into 2012. When Fabregas learned about these coincidences during their conversation, he expressed his amazement, saying, “No way I never knew that! Incredible.”

Henry in number 12


Thierry Henry’s choice to wear the number 14 may have been a second choice, but it became a symbol of his greatness at Arsenal. By honoring Johan Cruyff and showing respect to Christopher Wreh, Henry created a legacy that will forever be associated with the number 14 shirt. And even when he briefly wore the number 12, fate seemed to align with his iconic presence on the field.


Q: Why did Thierry Henry choose the number 14?
A: Henry originally wanted to wear the number 12, but it was already taken by another player. To pay tribute to Johan Cruyff, Henry opted for the number 14 instead.

Q: Did Thierry Henry ever wear the number 12 for Arsenal?
A: Yes, Henry briefly wore the number 12 during a loan return to Arsenal in the 2011-2012 season.

Q: What are the coincidences behind Henry’s number 12 goal against Leeds?
A: Henry scored the goal in the 78th minute, which was his 12th game against Leeds, and it happened as the year turned into 2012.

Q: Did Henry’s choice of shirt number have any significance to other players?
A: Henry’s decision not to take the number 12 away from Christopher Wreh and instead wear the number 14 showed his respect for his teammates and his admiration for Johan Cruyff.

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