Crystal PalaceSport

‘An honour’ – Palace goalkeeper Dean Henderson reflects on journey from injury to England European Championship squad


“My mum and dad firstly,” said Crystal Palace goalkeeper Dean Henderson with a big smile when asked by the South London Press who he spoke to after being announced as one of 26 players for Gareth Southgate’s 2024 European Championship England squad on Friday.

Henderson, along with fellow Eagles Ebere Eze, Adam Wharton and Marc Guehi, had been named in Southgate’s initial 33-man training squad last month and after their final training camp together, which saw friendlies against Bosnia and Herzegovina at Newcastle and Iceland at Wembley, all four made the cut for the final squad.

It marked a welcome return to an England European Championship squad for Henderson, who had to withdraw during the last one – the delayed-due-to-covid Euro 2020 in 2021 – due to a hip problem.

“It’s a great honour. Going to the last one was fantastic, but having to withdraw from injury, that was obviously disappointing,” said the 27-year-old. “So to be able to go to Germany again, the second time around, it’s fantastic. I’m delighted.”

Henderson moved to South London at the end of the summer window last year for a reported £15m plus add-ons worth up to £5m on a five-year deal.

Initially, his time was limited for the Eagles, as an unused substitute due to the form of Sam Johnstone before Henderson then picked up an injury on his Palace debut against his former club United in the league cup in September.

That kept him out of action until December when he returned to first team action, competing for Johnstone for the number one spot – but when Johnstone suffered an elbow injury on international duty with England, it provided an opportunity for Henderson to play for the rest of the season and his form led to a recall to the England squad.

“It’s been very difficult,” he said. “As I’ve said before, it’s a difficult time when you’re injured for that amount of time. You almost get forgotten about and you’ve almost got a battle with yourself day in, day out to try and keep that belief inside you and know that you will come back.

“That’s the biggest thing for me. I’ve been hit with a few punches, but I’ve got back up again and got myself fighting.

“It’s family and then very close friends,” added Henderson about who has helped him in his journey back to full fitness. “You soon realise who your real friends are at them times, but I’m happy I’ve went through that. I’ve learned a lot from it and I’m just delighted to be out of the other side of it now.”

Henderson’s club teammate Wharton has enjoyed a rapid rise to prominence this year in the Premier League with the Eagles, and particularly over the past few weeks with England after he was called up to the senior squad last month, having only made his under-21 debut in March.

The 20-year-old then went on to make his senior England debut last Monday and impressed as 62nd minute sub so much that he made the final cut for Southgate’s squad.

And Henderson could not be happier.

“What’s great about Adam is he’s at that age now where everything’s going so fast, so he’s not really thinking too much of it or taking any pressure, so that’s great,” said Henderson about the progress of Wharton to the South London Press.

“Long may that continue and he can just keep rolling with the punches and keep playing so well.”

And with Henderson part of that quartet of players from SE25 in the squad, the goalkeeper is not just proud of his clubmates but hopeful that, together, England can end up with some silverware next month.

“It’s fantastic, I’m delighted for all of them. They’ve been outstanding in training and they’ve made a great impression,” he said about the four Crystal Palace call-ups.

“We’ve (England) got some amazing players and hopefully we can go all the way (in Germany). It’s going to be a fantastic experience and let’s try and bring it home.”

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Everyone at the South London Press thanks you for your continued support.

Former Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing:


If you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can make a donation which will allow us to continue to bring stories to you, both in print and online. Or please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.