Danny Mills

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Danny Mills
Danny Mills Legend.jpg
Personal information
Full name Daniel John Mills
Date of birth (1977-05-18) 18 May 1977 (age 41)
Place of birth Norwich, England
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Playing position Right back
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1995–1998 Norwich City 66 (0)
1998–1999 Charlton Athletic 45 (3)
1999–2004 Leeds United 101 (3)
2003–2004Middlesbrough (loan) 28 (0)
2004–2009 Manchester City 51 (1)
2006Hull City (loan) 9 (0)
2007Charlton Athletic (loan) 19 (0)
2008Derby County (loan) 2 (0)
Total 321 (7)
National team
1994–1995 England U18 2 (0)
1998–2000 England U21 14 (3)
2001–2004 England 19 (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.[1]

Due to Gary Neville's injury before the tournament, he was England's first choice right-back at the 2002 World Cup.

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

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.

Leeds United[edit]

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".[2] He played a part in helping Leeds reach the 2000-01 UEFA Champions League Semi-final. Mills' Champions League debut came in Leeds' 4–0 defeat by Barcelona at the Nou Camp.[3]

Mills spent the 2003–04 season on loan at Middlesbrough, where he played in the 2004 Football League Cup Final to help Middlesbrough to their first ever major trophy.[4]

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.[5] 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.[6] Mills often said that he would've liked to go back to Leeds again (along with Olivier Dacourt), but this never materialised. Mills has been seen at Leeds games with his son after the club's relegation to the Football League Championship.

Manchester City[edit]

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.[7] 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.[8] 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.[9] One month later, he sustained a shin injury which resulted in a fifteen-game absence.[10] 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.[11]

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. On 7 August 2009 Mills announced his retirement from all football during an appearance on BBC Five Live.

International career[edit]

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.

Outside football[edit]

Mills is a patron of Shine (formerly the Association for Spina Bifida And Hydrocephalus),[12] and has raised money for the charity since the death of his son Archie from the condition in 2002.[13][14] 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 2010, he competed in the Brighton Marathon in a wheelchair to raise money for Shine and the National Association of Disabled Supporters, completing the race in two hours, 43 minutes.[15]

Danny was a runner up, along with Michael Underwood, on the 2012 series of Celebrity MasterChef. He was beaten by Emma Kennedy in a closely contested final.

In 2016, he ran the London Marathon for The Bobby Moore Fund, finishing in a time of 3hours 14mins 46secs.... he had previously run the Yorkshire Marathon for the Jane Tomlinson Appeal in 3hours 17mins.

Other Events for Charity include Triathlons, long cycle rides and Ironman events.

Since retirement he has moved into the Business World, working with Endless LLP & Enact Private Equity as a Board Advisory Member. The first major acquisition and disposal was the West Cornwall Pasty Co. which delivered returns of more than 5x to investors.

Career statistics[edit]



Club performance League FA Cup
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals
1995–96 Norwich City First Division 14 0
1996–97 32 0 1 0
1997–98 20 0 1 0
1997–98 Charlton Athletic First Division 9 1 0 0
1998–99 Premier League 36 2 1 0
1999–2000 Leeds United Premier League 17 1 1 0
2000–01 23 0 1 0
2001–02 28 1 1 0
2002–03 33 1 4 0
2003–04 Middlesbrough (loan) Premier League 28 0 2 0
2004–05 Manchester City Premier League 32 0 1 0
2005–06 18 1 0 0
2006–07 1 0 0 0
2008–09 0 0 0 0
2006–07 Hull City (loan) Championship 9 0 0 0
2007–08 Charlton Athletic (loan) Championship 19 0 0 0
2007–08 Derby County (loan) Premier League 2 0 1 0
Total 321 7 14 0


England national team
Year Apps Goals
2001 3 0
2002 10 0
2003 5 0
2004 1 0
Total 19 0





  1. ^ "Mills opts to end playing career". BBC Sport. 7 August 2009. Retrieved 8 August 2009.
  2. ^ Danny Mills (4 May 2007). "How has the club I love come to this?". London: Daily Mail. Retrieved 29 May 2009.
  3. ^ "Charlton to sell Mills for GBP 4.1 m". London Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 29 March 2007.
  4. ^ "Boro lift Carling Cup". BBC. 29 February 2004. Retrieved 29 March 2007.
  5. ^ "Keegan delighted with Mills signing". Manchester Evening News. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 27 March 2007.
  6. ^ "£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.
  7. ^ James, Gary (2006). Manchester City – The Complete Record. Derby: Breedon. ISBN 1-85983-512-0. p476
  8. ^ "Pearce salutes Mills attitude". Manchester Evening News. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 27 March 2007.
  9. ^ "Man City 2–0 Everton". BBC. 2 October 2005. Retrieved 27 March 2007.
  10. ^ "City: Mills will fight youth brigade". Manchester Evening News. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 27 March 2007.
  11. ^ "Mills deal done". Charlton Athletic F.C. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 30 August 2007.
  12. ^ "Footballer Danny Mills praises new Helpline". ASBAH. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 27 March 2007.
  13. ^ "Footy stars team up for Danny boy". icCoventry. Archived from the original on 9 July 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2007.
  14. ^ "Mills in defence of stars". The Northern Echo. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2007.
  15. ^ Laura Bowyer (21 October 2009). "Leeds United: Ex-player's wheelchair challenge".
  16. ^ "Danny Mills". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman.

External links[edit]