Mick MILLS

Mick Mills - Southampton FC - League appearances.

Photo/Foto: George Herringshaw

Date: 07 January 1984

Click on image to enlarge

    • POSITION
      Full Back
    • DATE OF BIRTH
      Tuesday, 04 January 1949
    • PLACE OF BIRTH
      Godalming, England.
  • INTERNATIONAL
  • England
  • CLUBS
  • Ipswich Town FC
    • Club Career Dates
      1966-1982
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 7th May 1966 in a 5-2 win at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers (Aged: 17)
    • Club Career
      588 League apps (+3 as sub), 22 goals
  • Southampton FC
    • Club Career Dates
      1982-1985
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 13th November 1982 in a 1-1 draw at home to Nottingham Forest (Aged: 33)
    • Club Career
      103 League apps, 3 goals
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Mick MILLS - Southampton FC - League appearances.

 

No stranger to the South Coast, having been on the books of Portsmouth in the mid-sixties - joining Ipswich when Pompey disbanded their reserve and youth teams - Mick Mills fitted perfectly into the category of players that Lawrie McMenemy loved to sign. It was November 1982 and he was only two months short of his 34th birthday yet his pedigree - which included leading England into that summers' World Cup Finals - ensured the transfer was not too much of a gamble. Indeed the fee was only £50,000 and the Saints manager had, under pressure, pulled another 'ageing rabbit from the hat'.

 

Sunderland had already called a press conference to announce that Mick was signing for them but were, it can be seen, a little premature. Mick had arrived at an unstable time, as the club had just lost Keegan, Channon and Ball, but form picked up with his arrival and, from being 19th at the time of his debut against Nottingham Forest, they were 6th just three months later. In fairness there were still some excellent players on the books including Peter Shilton, Mark Wright, Danny Wallace, Steve Williams, Steve Moran, David Armstrong, Nick Holmes and Reuben Agboola, his up-and-coming full-back partner. He even scored a goal (a crisp shot) against, yes you've guessed it, Sunderland as Saints ended the season in a respectable 12th place.

 

If 1982-83 had been a season to consolidate following the loss of Keegan and Co. the following campaign was perhaps the best in the Southampton's history. They reached the FA Cup semi-finals, only to be knocked out by a last minute Everton goal at Highbury, and then, finished the season in style to become runners-up, just 3 points adrift of the Champions, Liverpool. Saints have never got so close to the double, before or since, and Mick more than played his part, making 34 League appearances and was ever-present in the Cup run. His near perfect positional play and tenacious tackling led to talk of an England recall.

 

That did not happen but compensation arrived in the shape of a MBE for services to football. The following season Saints did well again, finishing 5th and Mick, despite celebrating his 36th birthday in January 1985 participated in every game. His cool temperament and professional demeanour marked him out as obvious managerial material and in the ensuing summer he duly accepted the player-manager post at Stoke City. (Duncan Holley)


CLUB CAREER:


1966–1982    Ipswich Town    591    (22)
1982–1985    Southampton    103    (3)
1985–1987    Stoke City    38    (0)


Total        732 Games    (25 goals)


Teams managed.


1985–1989    Stoke City
1990               Colchester United
2001               Birmingham City (Joint Caretaker)