January 16, 2024

Regretfully, James Milner has never joined Leeds United again after departing in 2004.


Milner, who was born in Leeds, supported the team and rose through the academy before making 53 appearances for the Whites before the club’s financial problems forced a sale to Newcastle United.


Milner has often talked positively about his time at Leeds, recalling the excitement he had when he scored the team’s first goal and sharing some anecdotes from his early days in the senior system.


In an interview with Jeff Stelling for Football’s Greatest, Milner did, however, share a story from his youth about his support of Leeds in the 1990s.


Milner shares what his father told him at that very moment, which has subsequently been shown to be genuine, and recalls Leeds winning the final Division One championship in 1992.


When Leeds won Division One, Milner relates what his father told him. “I remember my first game was when Leeds won the Youth Cup against Manchester United, I think it was 91,” Milner recollects. It was on the Kop, at a fully booked Elland Road.


“And then I remember my dad bouncing around the living room with me in his arms after Leeds won the league title, and he said, ‘Enjoy this, it might never happen again in your lifetime.’ Unfortunately, he was correct. We then acquired a season ticket, and at the age of ten, I enrolled in the academy.


Liverpool vs. Everton

When Milner was playing in the academy in the early 2000s, Leeds came the closest to accomplishing that record again. His selling at such a young age, however, is indicative of the fact that Leeds fell into League One due to severe financial problems, which prevented them from winning another top level championship.


Over the past three years since Leeds returned to the Premier League, it would have been fantastic if Milner could have returned, but he was still playing at such a high level with Liverpool.


Leeds showed interest in the summer, but he signed with Brighton instead because of relegation and the fact it was too late.

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