Manchester United youngster James Garner, currently on loan at Championship side Watford, has admitted Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard was his idol growing up.
While the midfielder joined the Red Devils’ academy at the age of eight, it should be noted that he’s from Birkenhead in Merseyside.
Tranmere Rovers are the local side – but it’s not a shock Garner loved Gerrard as a kid, with Liverpool and Everton being the two most widely supported top-flight clubs in the Wirral.
During a Q&A on Watford’s official site, Garner explained that most of his family support the Premier League champions and he saw a lot of the Stevie G when he was growing up.
“I get asked this a lot of time, because of where I grew up. All my family are Liverpool supporters, which is ironic considering I’m at Manchester United, so my idol was probably Steven Gerrard,” he said.
“I used to watch all the games with my dad and he was the main player who I used to watch and I wanted to be like him. I used to wear the Predators, just like him, and I still do today.”
We at Empire of the Kop can only imagine the jovial abuse Garner gets on a regular basis from his family and childhood friends for representing Man United.
Rivalries aside for a moment – it’s nice that a lad from Merseyside who has made it in football now wears the same boots as his idol to pay homage.
No doubt this little chat with Watford has gone down tremendously at Old Trafford – but what do they expect? Fair play to the lad for saying it how it is, and not pretending he grew up with Paul Scholes posters on his walls.