|Full name||James Philip Milner|
|Date of birth||4 January 1986|
|Place of birth||Wortley, England|
|Height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
| Leeds United|
→ Swindon Town (loan)
→ Aston Villa (loan)
| 48 (5)|
| England U16|
| 6 (5)|
James Philip Milner (born 4 January 1986) is an English professional footballer who plays as a winger for Premier League club Liverpool and the England national team. He has previously played for Leeds United, Swindon Town, Newcastle United, Aston Villa and Manchester City. Playing as a central midfielder with Aston Villa, Milner was named PFA Young Player of the Year and in the PFA Team of the Year for the 2009–10 Premier League season; however, after his move to Manchester City, Milner was more often utilised as a winger.
Milner began playing football while he was still at primary school in Horsforth, West Yorkshire. He was scouted for local club Rawdon, and played there as well as for the Yorkshire Schools cricket team.
When he was 10 years old, Milner joined the Leeds United Academy after being scouted. While there he was mentored by fellow Leeds native Alan Smith, who had risen through the academy and broken into the first team - something Milner aspired to achieve as well. Milner was taken on as a trainee after making good progress for the academy, excelling in the youth team and representing England at under-15 and under-17 levels.
Milner made his debut for Leeds United in November 2002 aged 16 years and 309 days, thus becoming the second youngest person ever to play in the Premier League. In December 2002, in a 2-1 win over Sunderland, he became the youngest person ever to score a Premier League goal: a record which stood until 2005.
Milner signed a five-year contract with Leeds in February 2003. He was loaned to Swindon Town at the beginning of the 2003-04 season, which he saw as a valuable opportunity to gain first-team experience. Milner returned to Leeds amid a tumultuous time for his boyhood club. The team's internal problems came to light, and, amid extensive media criticism of the club, management decided that several key players would need to be sold. Leeds were relegated at the end of the 2003-04 season, which further increased speculation about his future at the club. There were expressions of interest from Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa and Everton but Milner was reluctant to leave his boyhood club, and management reassured him that he would not be sold. Nevertheless, Milner left Leeds for Newcastle United in July 2004, stating a wish to do what was "in the club's best interest" - a remarkably similar situation to Alan Smith.
Milner made a positive start at Newcastle, especially after he demonstrated his willingness and aptitude to play in different positions. However, soon after, Bobby Robson - who Milner considered a mentor - was sacked and replaced by Graeme Souness. Souness did not make Milner a regular in his team, and controversially remarked that the club would not win "with a team of James Milners". Milner was frustrated at not been included in the starting line-up.
Despite a positive start to the 2005-06 season Milner still did not start regularly, a situation compounded by Newcastle's acquisition of Nolberto Solano. Milner was loaned to Aston Villa for the remainder of the season. The loan was a success, with Milner starting regularly and developing as a player. He expressed interest in joining Villa permanently, but he was recalled by Newcastle and transfer talks broke down.
Upon his return to Newcastle for the 2006-07 season, Milner featured more regularly as a starter, and displayed his ability to play comfortably in a range of different positions. He signed another four-year contract in May 2007, and reported that he was happy about his future at the club. The 2007-08 season was another successful one for Milner, although he missed the final nine matches due to a foot injury.
Milner joined Aston Villa in August 2008 for a fee of £12 million. He experienced a period of stability, having played under thirteen managers and caretakers despite being only 23. At the start of the 2009-10 season, he moved into the centre of midfield. He scored 12 goals that season and was named Aston Villa's Fans' Playerof the Year and PFA Young Player of the Year.
In May 2010, a £20 million offer for Milner was made by Manchester City, but this was rejected. He expressed a desire to leave Villa for City, but would only be sold at Villa's valuation.
Milner joined Manchester City in August 2010, a deal reported to be worth around £26 million and also involving a player exchange of Stephen Ireland. Over the 2011-12 season, Milner made 26 Premier League appearances for Manchester City, as the team won the league title for the first time in 44 years.
In June 2015, Milner agreed to join Liverpool on a free transfer, and was soon announced as vice-captain. Milner scored seven goals during his first season at Liverpool.
After representing England at under-15 and under-17 level, Milner was promoted to the under-20 team and participated in the 2003 World Youth Championship. Soon after, he was called up to the under-21 squad and made his debut, against Sweden, in March 2004. He represented England at the 2007 UEFA European Under-21 Championship, playing in all four matches, and again in 2009. His 46 appearances for the under-21 team are a national record.
In August 2009, Milner made his debut for the senior national team, in a friendly match against the Netherlands. He participated in a qualifying match for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and was named in the squad for the finals in South Africa. He played in six qualifying matches for UEFA Euro 2012, and was again named in the tournament squad. In September 2012, he scored his first international goal - against Moldova - in a qualifying match for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
In August 2016, Milner announced his retirement from international duty.
Personality and playing style
Milner is regarded for his tenacity as a player. His main role is seen to be that of a wide midfielder, creating scoring opportunities and taking the ball past defenders. Although he does not score many goals, he has a good record at providing assists and is known for being a versatile team player.
Among fans, he has developed a reputation as an honest, hard-working and down-to-earth Northerner. His perceived pragmatism and no-nonsense approach has led to him being affectionately referred to as 'boring James Milner'.
Milner is also known for appearing to never feel the cold while training or playing, resolutely wearing a short-sleeved shirt even in the coldest temperatures. A particularly well-publicised example of this was Manchester City's match against CSKA Moscow in winter 2014: in sub-zero temperatures in which even local Russian players wore long sleeves and gloves, Milner played in short sleeves with no gloves.
- Manchester City
- Premier League (2): 2011–12, 2013–14
- FA Cup (1): 2010–11
- FA Community Shield (1): 2012
- Football League Cup (1): 2013-14
- PFA Young Player of the Year (1): 2009–10
- PFA Premier League Team of the Year (1): 2009–10
|Liverpool F.C. squad - 2020–21|
1 Alisson · 3 Fabinho · 4 Van Dijk · 5 Wijnaldum · 7 Milner · 8 Keïta · 9 Firmino · 10 Mané · 11 Salah · 12 Gomez · 13 Adrián · 14 Henderson · 15 Oxlade-Chamberlain · 16 Grujić · 17 Jones · 18 Minamino · 20 Jota · 21 Tsimikas · 23 Shaqiri · 24 Brewster · 26 Robertson · 27 Origi · 32 Matip · 47 Phillips · 51 Hoever · 54 Ojo · 58 Woodburn · 59 Wilson · 62 Kelleher · 66 Alexander-Arnold · 67 Elliott · 72 Van den Berg · 73 Grabara · 76 Williams · — Awoniyi · — Karius ·
|England – 2007 UEFA Euro (Under-21)|
1. Carson 2. Hoyte 3. Baines 4. Taylor 5. Ferdinand 6. Cahill 7. Reo-Coker 9. Richardson 10. Nugent 11. Young 12. Routledge 13. Hart 14. Rosenior 15. Milner 16. Lita 17. Huddlestone 18. Noble 19. Derbyshire 20. Onuoha 21. Vaughan 22. Alnwick 23. Whittingham
|England – 2009 UEFA Euro (Under-21)|
1. Hart 2. Cranie 3. Taylor 4. Cattermole 5. Stearman 6. Onuoha 7. Milner 8. Gardner 9. Agbonlahor 10. Noble 11. Johnson 12. Muamba 13. Lewis 14. Walcott 15. Rodwell 16. Tomkins 17. Richards 18. Mancienne 19. Gibbs 20. Driver 21. Campbell 22. Loach 23. Rose
|England – 2010 FIFA World Cup – Knockout stage|
1. James 2. Johnson 3. A. Cole 4. Gerrard 5. Dawson 6. Terry 7. Lennon 8. Lampard 9. Crouch 10. Rooney 11. J. Cole 12. Green 13. Warnock 14. Barry 15. Upson 16. Milner 17. Wright-Phillips 18. Carragher 19. Defoe 20. King 21. Heskey 22. Carrick 23. Hart
|England – UEFA Euro 2012|
1. Hart 2. Johnson 3. Cole 4. Gerrard (c) 5. Kelly 6. Terry 7. Walcott 8. Henderson 9. Carroll 10. Rooney 11. Young 12. Baines 13. Green 14. Jones 15. Lescott 16. Milner 17. Parker 18. Jagielka 19. Downing 20. Chamberlain 21. Defoe 22. Welbeck 23. Butland
|England – 2014 FIFA World Cup – Group stage|
1. Hart 2. Johnson 3. Baines 4. Gerrard (c) 5. Cahill 6. Jagielka 7. Wilshere 8. Lampard 9. Sturridge 10. Rooney 11. Welbeck 12. Smalling 13. Foster 14. Henderson 15. Chamberlain 16. Jones 17. Milner 18. Lambert 19. Sterling 20. Lallana 21. Barkley 22. Forster 23. Shaw
|England – UEFA Euro 2016 – Round of 16|
1. Hart 2. Walker 3. Rose 4. Milner 5. Cahill 6. Smalling 7. Sterling 8. Lallana 9. Kane 10. Rooney 11. Vardy 12. Clyne 13. Forster 14. Henderson 15. Sturridge 16. Stones 17. Dier 18. Wilshere 19. Barkley 20. Alli 21. Bertrand 22. Rashford 23. Heaton