Ever since his ascension to Monday Night Football and a regular slot on our television screens, Gary Neville - through his brilliance as a presenter and analyst - has earned the begrudging respect of Liverpool fans. That's quite an achievement, given that Neville was persona non grata among the Kop for years, particularly exuberant, badge-kissing celebration in front of Liverpool fans at Old Trafford in 2006.
While it has taken Neville's retirement to get the majority of Liverpool fans on board, a couple of ardent Scousers came to begrudgingly admire Neville in 2007. Ahead of Liverpool's 2007 Champions League showdown with AC Milan in Athens, Liverpool supporter Jay McKenna (who may be recognisable to a few of you as the chairman of the supporters' group Spirit of Shankly) managed to acquire Neville's phone number during the boozy trip out to Greece. He rang him, and after a brief couple of words, Neville phoned it back.
McKenna and his mates goaded Neville down the phone (Djimi Traore has as many Champions League medals as you, etc), only to find the United man was well able to give it back.
They left it at that, and after the final, which ended in a defeat for Liverpool, McKenna recharged his phone only to find a host of voicemails from Neville, reveling in Liverpool's defeat.
He told the tale on TAW Player, which is the paid series of podcasts published by The Anfield Wrap. They've released the clip, and you can enjoy it below.
Great story from @JayMcKenna87 on this weeks 'Wildcards'.
— THE ANFIELD WRAP (@TheAnfieldWrap) February 15, 2017
Neville has since picked it up:
I Enjoyed that!! Worth a listen United fans... haha.. https://t.co/7roJsxekR9
— Gary Neville (@GNev2) February 15, 2017
Outstanding, fair play to Neville, and it's good to see that the Liverpool fans seemed to take it pretty well.