Birthdate: 13 July 1975
Birthplace: Trondheim, Norway
Other clubs: Rennebu (1982-91), Orkdal (1992-94), Rosenborg (1995-98)
Bought from: Rosenborg
Signed for LFC: £3.5m, 21.07.1998
International debut: 25.02.1998 vs. France
International caps: 20/1 (19/0 at LFC) - 18.06.2000
Liverpool debut: 16.08.1998
Last appearance: 15.10.2000
Debut goal: 26.12.1998
Last goal: 01.11.1999
Contract expiry: 01.07.2003
Win ratio: 44.62% W:29 D:15 L:21
LFC league games/goals: 54 / 3
Total LFC games/goals: 65 / 3
Player profileThe only player brought to Liverpool when Evans and Houllier were joint-managers in 1998. Heggem had wealth of experience as he had played 20 matches in the Champions League with Rosenborg. He scored the winning goal at San Siro when AC Milan were defeated 2-1 in the 1996/97 season. Rosenborg's win qualified the Norwegian team for the quarter-finals ahead of Milan which is still considered one of the biggest events in Norwegian footballing history. Roy Evans was quite fond of Norwegian players and there were already three former Rosenborg players at the club when Heggem arrived; Bjørnebye, Kvarme and Leonhardsen. Heggem couldn't participate in the 1998 World Cup because of a groin injury but his move to Liverpool helped heal his wounds. Evans wanted to improve the service to the strikers: "He is good at delivering quality balls into the box and that is something we are looking for. We want good deliveries because with players like Karlheinz Riedle and Sean Dundee, it will add another aspect to our game."
Heggem had an excellent debut season at Liverpool, going straight into the team at right-back. The Norwegian liked to break forward and scored his first goal with a thrilling mazy run against Middlesbrough on Boxing day. He had started 33 games and been a substitute in two games when he was injured in a 3-2 win over Everton on 3 April that was overshadowed by Fowler's infamous cocaine-sniffing celebration. Heggem was out for six weeks and only returned in the last five minutes in the last game of the season in which Liverpool finished a disappointing seventh. Heggem had difficulty in getting a prolonged run in the 1999/00 season because he had a knack of picking up hamstring injuries and he only started 11 matches, coming on as a substitute no less than on 14 occasions. He scored another wonder solo goal against Bradford on 1 November 1999 but sadly his talent was too rarely on display.
After featuring in only four matches in the successful 2000/01 season Heggem limped off with a hamstring injury in the sixth minute of Liverpool's 4-0 win at Derby on 15 October 2000 and that was the last game Heggem played for Liverpool's first team. He featured 16 times for the reserves in 2001/02 and made the first-team bench three times but he lacked a yard of pace and the necessary sharpness to make a first-team return. He had another setback in his return to fitness in March 2002 but played in a few friendlies ahead of 2002/03 when he was struck down with an Achilles tendon injury that required surgery. In March 2003 Heggem confessed his career might be over and his boss, Houllier, was realistic in his assessment: "I'm not sure if Vegard will be able to play top class football again,'' Houllier revealed. "I feel very sorry for him. He was my first signing for Liverpool when I was joint-manager with Roy Evans. He had the potential to be a very good player and he is a particularly nice guy.'' Heggem left Liverpool when his contract expired in the summer of 2003 finished in football instead of enjoying what could have been the best years of his footballing career. He has since run a very successful salmon fishing lodge in Norway, called Aunan Lodge.
Appearances per season
A more detailed look at the player's appearances
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Goals per season
A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring
"Even though I have been plagued by injuries for most of the five years I have been at Liverpool, it could be easy to look back and have regrets about how I could have developed as a player, what I could have experienced with the team and what trophies I could have won if I had stayed fit. Rather, I prefer to think about how lucky I have been to have come to such a great club. I had a very good first season here and I have loads of good memories. I played and scored at Anfield, I played at all the big Premiership grounds and experienced the atmosphere."
Heggem in 2003
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