James Milner is celebrating another Premier League title – and this time he doesn’t mind seeing the coveted trophy draped in red.
Milner, a Leeds supporter who grew up during Manchester United’s era of dominance, was heard uttering something a bit naughty about United in the heat of Liverpool’s title celebrations.
It’s understandable considering he once revealed his dad never allowed him to wear United’s famous colours as a child, while he later played for two of the club’s biggest rivals in Leeds and Manchester City before joining Liverpool.
“Growing up a Leeds fan, I was never allowed to wear a red t-shirt, my old man never allowed it. Seriously. ‘We can’t wear red. We’re Leeds,” he told The Times in 2018, joking that playing for the clubs he did was all part of a grand plan to wind Man United supporters up.
“It was strange when I signed for Liverpool (in 2015), actually wearing red. My dad made a joke about it, saying, ’That’s the first time I’ve seen you in red.’
“I still follow Leeds and want them to do well and still have that same feeling towards Manchester United.”
Milner went on to explain he had huge respect for the achievements of his rivals – he just didn’t enjoy having their success rubbed in his face as a kid.
“It’s never a personal thing. It’s the club. I have friends who are United fans - not many - so it’s not that personal but as soon as I step on that field… As much as I dislike Manchester United, I have huge respect for them, one of the best clubs in the world, with the trophies they’ve won, but their domination has unfortunately [been] in my lifetime.”
Now, though, Milner will be hope he has been at the start of a new period of dominance now Liverpool have won a first title since 1990.
The club were already champions before Chelsea were beaten 5-3 on Wednesday night, but the much anticipated trophy lift was the confirmation of a season of hard work, which was interrupted by a global pandemic.