Previous
Rayo Majadahonda
Sporting Gijón
6:00 PM UTC
Game Details
Almeria
Reus Deportiu
7:00 PM UTC
Game Details
Next

Liverpool's most popular boy's name is James -- are babies being named after Milner?

A young Liverpool fan flew from Hong Kong to see his favourite team play and after singing his way into the club's heart they treated him to a special gift.
ESPN FC chronicles Liverpool's Champions League matchweek against PSG, from the buildup around the city to the celebrations following Firmino's winner.

As it does each year, the U.K.'s Office for National Statistics (ONS) have released a list of the most popular baby names in England and Wales for 2017.

The ONS has also launched a nifty tool that allows the public to search for the most popular names by area, from Adur (in West Sussex) to York.

While the likes of Harry, Oliver and George continue dominate the boys list, it's perhaps noteworthy that James comes out top in Liverpool despite the name dropping well out of the UK top 10 -- dropping eight places to 17th nationwide over the past decade.

Of the 3,007 registered births of baby boys in the Liverpool area last year, 51 (1.7 percent) were called James, more than any other name. The name is almost as popular in neighbouring areas with a strong contingent of Liverpool fans such as Sefton (1.5 percent) and Wirral (1.4 percent).

Of course, the Toe Poke -- being consumed by football and having a loose grasp of the relationship between correlation and causation -- can only surmise that James' enduring popularity on Merseyside is the work of just one man: Mr. James Philip Milner.

The Liverpool midfielder has become one of the most popular players in the Premier League over the past few years, partly due to his ridiculously consistent and industrious performances but latterly thanks to his first forays into social media.

Both before and during 2017, Milner endeared himself to the locals by simple virtue of putting in shift after tireless shift for Jurgen Klopp, filling in right across the pitch and excelling wherever deployed.

After being named by UEFA as the fifth best player due to play at Euro 2016 in the run-up to the tournament, Milner then bowed out from active England duty by retiring from international football to focus fully on club commitments at Anfield.

He then went and kicked off 2017 by extending his deadly penalty record to nine goals from nine kicks with the equaliser in a 1-1 draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford -- which always goes down well.

While last year was undoubtedly a good one for Milner, 2018 proved to be a new dawn as he made his long-awaited debut on Twitter and Instagram, amusing fans around the world with his brilliant deadpan offerings.

Whether comparing his head wounds to Harry Potter, joking about his teammates costing more than the U.S. Air Force, or simply trolling Neymar, the Liverpool man proved himself a welcome addition to the social media scene.

In short, he really is the fabled "model pro" that any parent would want their child to look up to.

Of course, with his popularity soaring at brave new altitudes, there's an extremely good chance that Milner might find his name topping the ONS baby name list for Liverpool when 2018's statistics are revealed next year.

Some may choose to dismiss it as pure coincidence. Others recognise the true power of the Milner.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.