Vegard Heggem had a short but memorable stint at Liverpool

  • Heggem was not at Liverpool long but he made lasting memories
  • Injuries played a big part in his tenure with the Reds
  • His case is a definite “What if?” scenario for fans
Liverpool v Kosice  Vegard Heggem of Liverpool
Liverpool v Kosice Vegard Heggem of Liverpool / Clive Mason/GettyImages

Former Liverpool manager Roy Evans gets a lot of stick and is seen as one of the reasons the club faltered in the 1990s.

But the truth is Evan’s was ahead of his time in many tactical aspects of the game and was probably the first Premier League boss to play with attacking fullbacks when Jason McAteer and Stig Inge Bjornabye were labelled as ‘wingbacks’ in Liverpool’s attacking 5-3-2 formation.

It was this love of the bombarding defenders that saw Evans delve into the transfer market for Norwegian dynamo Vegard Heggem at the start of the 1998 season.

Heggem rose to prominence after scoring a memorable goal for Rosenborg during a memorable win against the mighty AC Milan in the 1996/97 UEFA Champions League.

The defender backed this up with a goal on his international debut for Norway against France in February 1998 securing himself a £3.5 million move to Anfield.

Heggem’s first season in the English Premier League started off like a dream when scored his first goal after a tricky run through the Middlesbrough defence on Boxing Day it seemed the Reds had found themselves a real gem.

However, a hamstring injury during a 3-2 win in the Merseyside Derby would see him miss the final six weeks of the season.

It was an injury that would prove to be all too common in the final years of his Liverpool contract as he failed to ever regain full fitness.

He did manage to remind everyone of his potential with another solo strike against Bradford in 1999 but sporadic substitute appearances and an Achilles tendon injury in 2002 finally put an end to his playing days.

I am not sure if Vegard will be able to play top class football again,” said the then Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier.

I feel very sorry for him. He was my first signing for Liverpool. He had the potential to be a very good player and he was a particularly nice guy.

Heggem was a player ahead of his time as he was attack-minded from the right side of the defence putting in dangerous balls and making slaloming runs. Sounds a lot like a certain No. 66 doesn't it?

The Norwegian would go on to play 65 times for Liverpool while registering 3 goals and 6 assists during his brief tenure at the club.

Heggem was released after his contract with Liverpool expired and went on to open a very popular Salmon fishing lodge in his native Norway.