|Full name||Daniel John Mills|
|Date of birth||18 May 1977|
|Place of birth||Norwich, England|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Playing position||Right back|
|2003–2004||→ Middlesbrough (loan)||28||(0)|
|2006||→ Hull City (loan)||9||(0)|
|2007||→ Charlton Athletic (loan)||19||(0)|
|2008||→ Derby County (loan)||2||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Daniel John Mills (born 18 May 1977 in Norwich, Norfolk) is an English former professional footballer best known for his time at Leeds United. His main position was right-back, though he could also play as central defender. On 7 August 2009 he announced his retirement from the game at the age of 32, due to an ongoing knee injury.
Mills began his career with Norwich City after coming through their youth system. He was unable to establish a regular place in the side and moved to Charlton Athletic in March 1998 and helped them win promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs, playing in their dramatic win over Sunderland in the play-off final, winning 7–6 on penalties after a 4–4 draw.
Fifteen months later, Mills signed for Leeds United in a £4.1 million transfer in what he later described as a "dream move" to "the club I love". He played a part in helping Leeds reach the 2000/01 Champions League Semi-final. Mills' Champions League debut came in Leeds' 4–0 defeat by Barcelona at the Nou Camp.
Following relegation from the Premier League at the end of 2003–04, Leeds could no longer afford to retain Mills' services, and he moved to Manchester City on a free transfer in the close season, signing a five-year contract. As part of his severance package with Leeds, Mills continued to receive part of his wages from the Yorkshire club for the duration of his original Leeds contract. Mills has often said he would like to go back to Leeds again (along with Olivier Dacourt), but this has never happened. Mills has been seen at Leeds games with his young son since the club's relegation into the Championship.
Mills made his Manchester City debut in the opening fixture of the 2004–05 season, a 1–1 draw against Fulham at the City of Manchester Stadium. He started the majority of matches in his first season at Manchester City, but was dropped from the first team when Stuart Pearce replaced Kevin Keegan as manager in March 2005. He regained his place for the start of the 2005–06 season, and on 2 October 2005, he scored his first and only goal for Manchester City, a powerful shot from 25 yards (23 m) against Everton. One month later, he sustained a shin injury which resulted in a fifteen-game absence. The injury coincided with the emergence of Micah Richards who deposed him as first choice right-back; after Richards made his debut, Mills made only five further first team appearances in the remainder of the season.
On 14 September 2006 he joined Hull City in a two-month loan deal. He returned to Manchester City in January and was on the verge of being sent on loan to Hull City again or Leeds United, but a decision was made to keep him at City. Following the appointment of Sven-Göran Eriksson as Manchester City manager, Mills was transfer listed. He re-joined former club Charlton on a loan deal until the end of 2007.
He joined Premier League strugglers Derby County on loan, in January 2008 until 2 May. However, he was injured in only his second game for the Rams, returning to City shortly after. On 1 July 2009, he was released by Manchester City after his contract finally expired.
Following a series of impressive performances for Leeds United, Mills received his first England callup in 2001, making his international debut on 25 May 2001, as a substitute in a friendly against Mexico at Pride Park. His first England start came on 27 March 2002 in a friendly against Italy. At the 2002 FIFA World Cup, Mills was chosen as England's first choice right-back following an injury to Gary Neville, and he played every minute of England's five matches. He earned a total of 19 caps for the national team, all won in games played away from Wembley, a record for an England player in the modern era.
On 7 August 2009 Mills announced his retirement from all football during an appearance on BBC Five Live.
Mills is a patron of Shine (formerly the Association for Spina Bifida And Hydrocephalus), and has raised money for the charity since the death of his son Archie from the condition in 2002. He has also appeared on BBC Five Live's Fighting Talk. Mills now acts as a regular pundit and commentator (often alongside Alan Green) for BBC Radio Five Live's coverage of the Premier League, League Cup, FA Cup, UEFA Champions League and England national football team matches.
In the summer of 2013, Mills along with Leeds United goalkeeper Jamie Ashdown rowed the English Channel in a rowing boat for charity, to raise awareness of Melanoma skin cancer, in memory of former Leeds United fitness coach Bruce Craven, who died of the disease aged 32.
Club career statistics
|1995/96||Norwich City||First Division||14||0|
|1997/98||Charlton Athletic||First Division||9||1|
|1999/00||Leeds United||Premier League||17||1|
|2004/05||Manchester City||Premier League||32||0|
|2007/08||Derby County||Premier League||2||0|
|2008/09||Manchester City||Premier League||0||0|
International career statistics
|England national team|
- "Mills opts to end playing career". BBC Sport. 7 August 2009. Retrieved 8 August 2009.
- Danny Mills (4 May 2007). "How has the club I love come to this?". London: Daily Mail. Retrieved 29 May 2009.
- "Charlton to sell Mills for GBP 4.1 m". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 29 March 2007.[dead link]
- "Boro lift Carling Cup". BBC. 29 February 2004. Retrieved 29 March 2007.
- "Keegan delighted with Mills signing". Manchester Evening News. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 27 March 2007.
- "£7m consolation for missing out on promotion – Leeds still moving in right direction, says Bates". Professional Footballers' Association. Archived from the original on 20 October 2006. Retrieved 27 March 2007.
- James, Gary (2006). Manchester City – The Complete Record. Derby: Breedon. ISBN 1-85983-512-0. p476
- "Pearce salutes Mills attitude". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 27 March 2007.
- "Man City 2–0 Everton". BBC. 2 October 2005. Retrieved 27 March 2007.
- "City: Mills will fight youth brigade". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 27 March 2007.
- "Mills deal done". Charlton Athletic F.C. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 30 August 2007.
- "Footballer Danny Mills praises new Helpline". ASBAH. Retrieved 27 March 2007.
- "Footy stars team up for Danny boy". icCoventry. Retrieved 27 March 2007.
- "Mills in defence of stars". The Northern Echo. Retrieved 27 March 2007.
- Laura Bowyer (21 October 2009). "Leeds United: Ex-player's wheelchair challenge".
- "Ashdown and Mills take to the seas...". Leeds United Official Site. 25 April 2013. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
- Danny Mills at National-Football-Teams.com