James Milner hails values instilled at Leeds United as reason behind stellar top flight career with Manchester City and Liverpool

Former Leeds United academy product James Milner has hailed the values he was taught as a Whites youngster.

Wednesday, 30th October 2019, 12:18 pm
Updated Wednesday, 30th October 2019, 4:33 pm
Former Leeds United academy product James Milner in action for Liverpool. (Getty)

Milner, now 33, grew up watching his beloved Whites as a season ticket holder at Elland Road and believes the lessons he learned in LS11 have aided him throughout his professional career.

He rose through the ranks at Thorp Arch before being handed his debut for the club as a 16-year-old where he quickly made a name for himself with goals against Sunderland and Chelsea at first team level.

The Wortley-born star made 48 appearances for the club in total, scoring five goals in the process as he burst onto the scene ahead of United's financial troubles around the turn of the century.

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Milner was later sold to Newcastle United before enjoying spells with Aston Villa and Manchester City where he picked up countless trophies including two Premier League winners medals.

He also helped Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool to last season's Champions League trophy, and is hoping to help end the Anfield club's near thirty year wait for a league winners trophy this term.

Asked about whether his early days in West Yorkshire helped him prepare for what was to come in his career, he told the Guardian: “Hundred per cent.

“I was playing in the Premier League and still cleaning the under-18s captain’s boots.

"I was scoring goals in the Premier League but, after the game, I’m picking up the kit, taking the dirty slips to the bus with the kitman. I had to make tea on the bus.

"After 20 games in the Premier League, with a few goals, the kitman said: ‘Go on, get on the bus.’ That made me feel so good. But it gave me such hunger and you knew your place.

“It definitely helped me and they’re good values that I wish were still in the game. It would help young players. They’re now looked after amazingly well but there’s more scrutiny on social media.

"In some ways they probably have it harder than we did as kids."