STEVE BRUCE has reached across the Tyne-Wear divide to congratulate Jordan Henderson on his Premier League title win with Liverpool.

With Liverpool’s triumph having been confirmed by Manchester City’s failure to win at Chelsea on Thursday, Henderson will end the Anfield club’s 30-year wait for a league success when he hoists the Premier League trophy above his head in the next few weeks.

The Wearsider has established himself as a key performer with Liverpool and England in the last few seasons, but things were rather different back in 2009 when Bruce gave Henderson his first proper run in Sunderland’s starting line-up.

Back then, it was far from clear whether the Wearsider would be able to dislodge Lee Cattermole or Grant Leadbitter from Sunderland’s starting line-up, so Bruce has marvelled at his career trajectory in the last decade.

“It just goes to show what’s possible,” said the Newcastle boss. “He had a wonderful desire at 18 – that’s why I put him in the team. You could argue that he’s not the most naturally-gifted footballer out there, but by God, he gets the best out of himself.

“Now to be the captain of Liverpool, captain of England, Premier League winner, Champions League winner, World Club Championship winner, I can’t speak highly enough of the lad.

“I’m delighted at his progress over the last ten years, it’s been a joy to watch. When you’ve set somebody on their way, that’s one of the good parts of this job, to see how they mature and how they develop and how they grow and the career they’ve had. Congratulations to Jordan, he’s done fantastically well.”

Bruce was part of what is widely-acknowledged as one of the greatest top-flight teams of all time during his decade of service with Manchester United, and he feels the current Liverpool side deserve to be ranked alongside any of their celebrated predecessors in the English game.

“I was playing last time they won it,” he said. “They’re worthy champions.”