James Milner started his youth career at Leeds United after being taken on as a trainee at the age of ten. In 2002, at the age of sixteen, Milner made his Leeds debut as a second half substitute becoming the second youngest player to play in the Premiership in the process. On Boxing Day of the same year, Milner scored with a goal in the club's 2-1 victory against Sunderland to make him the youngest ever goalscorer in the Premier League.
Just a month later, the midfielder scored again, this time against Chelsea prompting comparisons with Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney. The beginning of the next season saw Milner go out on loan to Swindon Town for a month to gain valuable first team experience. His time at Swindon saw him score two goals in six matches. However, Leeds United was steadily declining and was eventually relegated at the end of the same season. Milner reluctantly left the club he supported as a boy after financial problems dictated the sale.
Newcastle was Milner's next club and at the age of 18, he made his first appearance in European competition as a substitute. In the same month, he scored his first goal for the team in the league and a starting place looked probable. When his mentor Sir Bobby Robson was sacked, Milner found his playing time more limited under new manager Graeme Souness. The start of the 2005/06 season saw Milner perform well in the club's early Intertoto Cup games but he was soon loaned out to Aston Villa under former manager David O'Leary. Milner performed well in an otherwise disappointing season for Villa. It looked as if the young midfielder's move would become permanent but Newcastle recalled him at the last moment ready for the 2006/07 campaign. The next two seasons saw Milner become one of the first names in the team under Glenn Roeder and Sam Allardyce. However, with the club's lack of progress, Milner submitted a written transfer request and once again become an Aston Villa player for the 2008/09 season. During this time, the midfielder helped Villa to a 6th place finish and a UEFA Cup spot.
Milner's international career has been fairly successful to date. He made his debut for the u21's at the age of 18 against Sweden in 2004 and went on to make 46 appearances for them scoring nine goals in the process. He was present in the 2007 and 2009 European U21 Championships where England made the semi finals and final respectively. In August 2009, Milner finally made his full England debut as a substitute in the friendly against Holland and put in a good performance.