James Milner given bizarre yet thoughtful present from Liverpool before final game for the club
JAMES MILNER has received a bizarre but touching present from Liverpool ahead of his final game for the club.
The midfielder, 37, will leave the Reds at the end of the season when his contract expires.
James Milner will leave Liverpool at the end of the seasonReuters
He came off the bench in Saturday’s 1-1 home draw with Aston Villa for his last Reds appearance at Anfield.
And the 61-cap England international could get a final swansong in front of Liverpool’s travelling supporters away at Southampton on Sunday afternoon before departing as a free agent.
But in his final week of training at Kirkby, the reliable Milner was presented with a special gift.
The Anfield groundstaff dug out the penalty spot from the famous pitch and handed over the precious piece of turf along with a photo of where the grass was once planted.
Head groundsman Dave McCulloch and his team wrote: “To James,
“After eight years of destroying our pen spots!
“It’s now time you looked after one yourself!
“Best of luck for the future, All the Groundstaff.”
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Milner scored 19 of his 21 penalties for the Reds across his eight years – taking a back seat on the duty once Mo Salah arrived at Anfield.
That included clutch efforts both home and away against Leicester – the one at Anfield was a pressure 95th-minute winner – in Liverpool’s title-winning season of 2019-20.
And the ex-Manchester City man clearly took his fair share of practice efforts at the training ground over the years to ensure he was ready on matchdays.
A delighted Milner tweeted: “What a gift that is!
“No pressure there then, I better get my scissors and pink ruler back out! #practicemakesperfect #practiceannoysgroundstaff”
Milner was widely expected to join Brighton on a free transfer this summer.
However, Leeds could hijack the move to try and bring their former star back to Elland Road in an emotional return.
InstagramMilner was given a penalty spot from Anfield[/caption]
A note accompanied the present to wish him wellInstagram
He scored 19 of his 21 Liverpool penaltiesGetty Images – Getty