Liverpool midfielder James Milner has explained how he “might even have ended up” at Everton instead of Leeds United as a youngster if it hadn’t been for snow.
In the end Milner came through the youth ranks at boyhood club Leeds and eventually played for the first team in the Premier League before moving on to Newcastle United, Aston Villa, Manchester City and now Liverpool.
The former England international has been one of Liverpool’s best ever free transfers, playing almost 200 times in all competitions and helping them to Champions League glory last season.
But Milner has revealed how he things could have been different as he had interest from the Toffees during his youth career.
“The first club that showed an interest was Everton,” Milner said in his new book, Ask a Footballer: My Guide to Kicking a Ball About.
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“I might even have ended up signing for them if my trial hadn’t been called off because of snow.
“I had carried on playing for Westbrook Juniors and I ended up moving up to the Under-12s because they didn’t have an Under-10 or Under-11 team.
“I was a lot smaller than the other kids, but I was very quick, believe it or not, and I didn’t feel out of place.
“I scored a lot of goals and I must have been doing okay because when it came to the end of that season, there were parents from some of the other teams complaining I shouldn’t be allowed to play against them because I was ‘too young’.
“Looking back, I’m not convinced that was the real reason they wanted me to drop down to my own age group.
“I then got into the district team, which was Airedale and Wharfedale – ‘Aire and Wharfe’ to us.
“I played a district match in Crosby and I was told afterwards an Everton scout had been watching and wanted me to go on trial.
“That was the first time I had even thought about the possibility of being a footballer, but then the trial game got called off because of snow.
“We kept waiting for another phone call, but it never came, so I thought my chance might have come and gone.”