There’s a light-hearted thread on an Aston Villa fans’ website re-cycling a host of Northern stereotypes as ‘little known facts’ about James Milner.
The made-up Milner trivia affectionately suggests the Villa winger races whippets, survives on one piece of coal a fortnight and smokes Woodbines.
It is all written from a position of great fondness by supporters who appreciate the 23-year-old’s increasing contribution to the claret and blue cause.
And Milner is ready to join in the fun on Wednesday evening when he potentially finally swaps his metaphorical flat-cap for his very real first senior England cap.
Indeed, it is the Yorkshire trait of grafting hard for a living which has catapulted Milner into Villa hearts and Fabio Capello’s thoughts after a long, long wait.
A snaphot of his season was provided during Villa’s record-breaking victory over Blackburn Rovers.
Milner showed the class with which he is blessed to clinically fire Villa in front and the willingness to track back and make a vital intervention at the other end.
Milner’s short and stocky frame and thick Yorkshire accent have made him the subject of well-intended jokes among Villa’s online community.
And, it is true, had Milner been a ballet dancer or son of a stripper, rather than a fine footballer he would have been ideal material for a gritty Billy Elliot or Full Monty-style Brit-flick.
As it is, the most appropriate stereotype the web wags on popular fans’ forum Villa Talk have come up with is likening Milner to the boy from the latest Hovis commercial.
Many a true word spoken in jest and all that.
While Milner probably wouldn’t take offence at being compared to a likeable young scamp in short trousers, it is their respective journeys that have parallels.
For those not familiar with the televised bread advertisement, it portrays a young Yorkshire lad running along cobbled streets through an ever-evolving landscape, witnessing England through the ages.
Anyone au fait with Milner’s transformation from youngest Premier League scorer, at 16 back in 2002, to potential fully-fledged international in Seville tomorrow evening will appreciate the similarities.
The former Newcastle and Leeds midfielder’s has experienced a ride bumpier than any cobbled streets after playing for the Elland Road and St James’ Park crisis clubs during turbulent times.
And as England under-21s’ most-capped player with a record 40 appearances – making his debut almost five years ago – Milner knows all about the changes the country’s football team has undergone.
Like the Hovis boy hiding under a table for a crafty swig of lemonade in the television advert, Milner has been out of sight hoping for something sweet while the party goes on without him.
Until now, that is. Now that his chance has arrived it is up to football’s Hovis boy to prove that he really is the best thing since sliced bread.