James Milner does not seek out the spotlight but his farewell after eight years at Liverpool was more than worthy of being centre-stage, which proved “emotional” for the veteran.
For the 332nd and final time, Milner donned the Liverpool shirt in the final game of the season, captaining the side in a hectic 4-4 draw that summed up the Reds’ season.
A banner was unfurled in Milner’s honour prior to the game and his name sung from the travelling Kop as his eight trophy-laden years were rightly celebrated.
It was the latest example of the “incredible” support he has received since he first arrived at Anfield in 2015 when he set out to add to the club’s trophy cabinet – job done!
“It has been incredible from day one since I’ve been at the club,” Milner reflected on his career with LFCTV.
“Obviously it was emotional saying bye to the guys and the staff, the amount of work they put in with us and the times we’ve shared together, it’s been special to be part of it.
“Obviously putting on the Liverpool shirt for the last time is going to be a big deal.
“It has been an honour to wear the shirt and hopefully I’ve contributed as much as I can since I’ve been here. I’ll have great memories of this place.”
Milner added: “It’s a special club to play for. The ovation we got today was incredible. It’s been a fantastic eight years and what we’ve managed to share.”
And while the 37-year-old’s career will now take him away from Anfield, he leaves knowing it was “mission accomplished” and that the Reds’ pursuit of silverware will be fruitful.
“The aim was to win a league title, the aim was to add another European Cup to the trophy cabinet. It was the plan – plans don’t normally come off like this,” Milner replied when asked if he thought this was all possible back in 2015.
“It is mission accomplished if you like in the time. This team is a special team with a special manager, amazing group of staff, unbelievable stadium, great training ground and some fantastic young players as well.
“It’s the end of my story here but the end of this era for Liverpool I’m sure isn’t ended and there’s going to be lots of trophies to come for this special group of players.”
Six honours, 332 games and countless memories. Thank you, Milly!