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Former Blue Johnny Miller Dies
Friday, 19th Feb 2016 00:05

Former Blue Johnny Miller died on Thursday, aged 65.

His family announced the news in a message on his Facebook page yesterday afternoon.

Born in Ipswich, Miller came through the Town youth system and made his senior debut in a 0-0 home draw with Coventry City in March 1969, becoming the second black player to represent the club, Steve Stacey having been the first earlier that season.

Shortly after he made his debut Reg Drury, chief football writer at the News of the World, wrote: "This boy will surely be the first black player to play for England."

Right winger Miller went on to make 43 senior starts and 17 sub appearances, scoring four goals - in addition to 150 games and 31 goals for the reserves - before moving on to Norwich City in October 1974 for a fee of £47,500.

Less than two months later - with that fee not yet paid - Miller famously scored twice for the Canaries as they beat the Blues 2-1 at Portman Road in a League Cup fifth round replay to progress to the semi-finals.

They went on to finish third in the Second Division during that campaign and were promoted to the top flight.

In 1976 his former Town and Norwich team-mate Peter Morris took him to Mansfield and he helped the Stags to the Third Division title in 1976/77.

Miller later played for Port Vale, Oakham United and Selston and was assistant manager at Blidworth Welfare. Latterly he had been working as a taxi driver in Mansfield and was a regular at Town's annual ex-players' dinner.

Blues legend Kevin Beattie paid tribute to his one-time Town team-mate.

“He was such a jovial chap and a good footballer," the former England defender told TWTD. "He was very good. He just wasn’t in the boss’s thoughts.

“We had so many wingers. Clive Woods was on the left and Mick Lambert could play either left or right.

“We sold him to Norwich and they knocked us out of the League Cup and he scored two bloody goals!”

He added: “He was a lovely fella, you used to look forward to seeing him in the morning because he was always cheerful.

“My condolences to all his family, he’ll be sadly missed because he was such a cheerful guy.”

The Stags held an evening with Miller last March and have posted some clips from it on YouTube.

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Gobbs69 added 00:19 - Feb 19
RIP Dusty. Very sad

Ryorry added 00:22 - Feb 19
Never saw him play, but still one of the ITFC 'family'. Very sorry to hear such sad news - 65 is still relatively young these days. Condolences & sympathies to his family and friends.

floridablue added 00:34 - Feb 19
Sad news indeed. Vividly remember the night he netted twice against us!
All is forgiven "Dusty" Miller, and an Ipswich boy born and bred !

therein61 added 06:52 - Feb 19

Dissboyitfc added 07:11 - Feb 19
I will always remember standing on my milk crate with my dad beside me watching Johnny play, TWTD'S.

Thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

R.I.P Johnny.

runaround added 07:13 - Feb 19
R.I.P Johnny

planetblue_2011 added 07:30 - Feb 19
R.I.P Johnny!!

oldburian added 07:36 - Feb 19
I saw his debut, it was against the Frank O'Farrell Coventry side with all its implications. Robson could have had a postponement but, as we were safe and the antagonism with O'Farrell, chose to put out Frankie Brogan at centre-forward and two young wingers in Miller and Lambert. It has to be said Miller looked nervous and not ready but Lambert did look the part.

Later on Miller blossomed for a while and was tipped in several places to be the first black England full international. I remember one very windy afternoon in a relegation battle at Forest he stood out. Won that 2 - 0 and really was safe. He then seemed to lose that spark hence his move down the road.

Always seemed a nice modest lad and shame that it did not work out better for him in the game because he did have the potential.

R.I.P. Johnny

ChrisFelix added 08:06 - Feb 19
One of Bobby Robinsons first young players to emerge. I remember he showed great potential & was considered a future response to Coventry ofarrell never managed them. He will be remembered for turning down our managers job before he went to Leicester

oldburian added 08:12 - Feb 19
Sorry, quite right, it was Leicester. Old age dims the memory!

Phil surely Johnny Miller's debut was against Leicester? I was on block release at Coventry at the time and our 0-0 draw was very much to their advantage and the Coventry fans were very grateful!

mickeyjb added 08:41 - Feb 19
RIP, shows how times have changed, here's a guy playing a decent level of football spending his remaining years as a taxi driver, some of the players at a similar level, should maybe spend a moment and think how lucky they are, probably made for life with no financial worries.

PJH added 09:02 - Feb 19
R.I.P. Johnny.

I remember him as being an exciting prospect emerging at the same time as Micky Lambert.

dirtydingusmagee added 09:02 - Feb 19
''old school'' those were good times ,''Johnny Miller ,Miller,here comes Johnny Miller'' RIP Johnny boy.

PhilTWTD added 09:08 - Feb 19

Coventry, according to The Men Who Made the Town.

grumpyoldman added 09:09 - Feb 19
I seem to remember that at the time he scored for Norwich in the league cup they still hadn't paid the fee which was even more galling. Not an Ipswich legend but still a class act. RIP

oldburian added 09:22 - Feb 19

Yes absolutely correct it was Coventry. We played a weakened side, Leicester were very unhappy but my mates in Coventry were very grateful. It was the Frank O'Farrell factor!

Memory playing tricks but I should have remembered George Curtis Against Frank Brogan, if it had been a boxing match the ref would have stopped in the first round.

Kesgraveblue57 added 09:24 - Feb 19
Rest in peace Johnny Miller I saw him play a nice bloke and a good player.

Tauntontractorboy added 09:48 - Feb 19
i remember as a teenager playing against Johnny Miller. He was a member of a formidable Whitton team that also contained Geoff Hammond. He was a great winger and far too good for me. Sorry to hear the news.

ArnieM added 09:53 - Feb 19
RIP Dusty.
Why is it ex professional footballers never seem to live very long? 65yrs old is no age these days.

OldClactonBlue added 09:56 - Feb 19
Those were the days.
RIP Dusty Miller.

spiegal added 10:17 - Feb 19
Remember his Dad..who was a lovely old boy, bringing a young Johnny into teh office where I worked..the family lived up at Whitton. Nice lad polite, and always spent time to say hello when he made it into ITFC...such sad news..especially that he wasn't able to earn the huge sums of today.

Facefacts added 10:22 - Feb 19
RIP Johnny. Winning in the FA Cup Fifth Round means progression to the Sixth Round, which then leads to the Semi Finals - May be worth correcting, I see it was late last night when this was posted. You could change it from 'progress' to 'eventually progress'.

matty81 added 10:32 - Feb 19
Facefacts; it does say League Cup 5th round not F.A.Cup.
RIP Johnny

itfchorry added 12:20 - Feb 19
I am so sad to hear this news.

I met Johnny on a number of occasions at players
reunion events.
Absolute gentleman.

Saw him play on many occasions -

Very sad day.

Millsey added 12:48 - Feb 19
Really sad news.

'Moaned' like hell when he scored against the semi at PR

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