Alan Miller (footballer)
|Full name||Alan John Miller|
|Date of birth||29 March 1970|
|Place of birth||Epping, England|
|Height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|1988–1989||→ Plymouth Argyle (loan)||13||(0)|
|1991||→ West Bromwich Albion (loan)||3||(0)|
|1991–1992||→ Birmingham City (loan)||15||(0)|
|1997||→ Huddersfield Town (loan)||0||(0)|
|1997||→ Grimsby Town (loan)||3||(0)|
|1997||→ West Bromwich Albion (loan)||12||(0)|
|1997–2000||West Bromwich Albion||93||(0)|
|2000||→ Bristol City (loan)||4||(0)|
|2000||→ Coventry City (loan)||1||(0)|
|2001–2002||→ St. Johnstone (loan)||18||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17:13, 28 March 2010 (UTC).
Miller began as an apprentice at Arsenal in 1984. With them he won the FA Youth Cup in 1988, and won four caps for the England under-21 team. However, with John Lukic and then David Seaman first-team opportunities were rare; he had loan spells with Plymouth Argyle, West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City. Nonetheless, while with Arsenal, Miller became renowned as a practical joker. This became apparent by his response to the traditional 'hazing' carried out on him by the Gunners' squad when was promoted from the youth side. In response to Viv Anderson defecating in his shoe, Miller did the classic swap-shaving-foam-with-deodorant move, resulting in Anderson having a rash on his face for weeks. Things snowballed from there, the most infamous incident coming when Miller told Paul Merson to bet on Arsenal keeping a clean sheet in a reserve game against Crystal Palace only to throw the ball into his own net in the last minute with his side 4–0 up.
He finally made his Arsenal debut on 21 November 1992 as a substitute (the first ever Arsenal goalkeeper to come on as a sub) and made another seven appearances over the next two seasons. He won FA Cup and League Cup winners' medals in 1992–93 and a UEFA Cup Winners' Cup medal in 1993–94, as an unused sub each time.
In the summer of 1994, Miller moved to Middlesbrough for £500,000, winning a First Division winners' medal in his first season. While the official reason given was that he wanted first-team football and could not achieve that behind David Seaman, Perry Groves revealed the real cause of the transfer in his autobiography, We All Live in a Perry Groves World (ISBN 1-84454-319-6). By now, the jokes had become an obsession for Miller, so much so that he feigned injury so as to miss training, formulating his plans instead.
In 1997, he signed for West Bromwich Albion in a £400,000 deal, before moving on to Blackburn Rovers in 2000. He played only two games during his time at Ewood Park against Sheffield United in the league and Portsmouth in the League Cup. Whilst at Blackburn he went on loan at Bristol City and Coventry City during 2000–01. His only appearance at Coventry was one to forget, as he came on as a substitute against Chelsea after Chris Kirkland was sent off. Coventry went on to lose 6–1. In October 2001 he was loaned out again, this time to St. Johnstone. He was however recalled from his loan spell at St. Johnstone to take his place on the bench as Blackburn won the 2002 Football League Cup Final, providing back-up to Brad Friedel. He was recalled after an injury to regular second choice goalkeeper Alan Kelly. Miller retired in 2003 after failing to overcome a back injury.
- 1993 Football League Cup Final
- 1993 FA Cup Final
- 1994 European Cup Winners' Cup Final
- "Blackburn 5 Sheffield United 0". Sporting Life. 1 April 2000. Retrieved 9 March 2012.
- "Portsmouth 1–1 Blackburn (Agg: 1–5)". BBC. 26 September 2000. Retrieved 9 March 2012.
- "Chelsea hammer sorry Coventry". BBC. 21 October 2000. Retrieved 9 March 2012.
- "Miller joins St Johnstone". BBC Sport. 10 October 2001. Retrieved 11 May 2007.
- "Miller back at Blackburn". BBC. 15 February 2002. Retrieved 9 March 2012.
- "Miller forced to retire". BBC Sport. 7 April 2003. Retrieved 11 May 2007.