Jim Mills (rugby league)
24 September 1944 |
Aberdare, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Wales
|Height||6 ft 4 in (193 cm)|
|Weight||17 st 13 lb (114 kg)|
Jim "Big Jim" Mills (born 29 September 1944) is a British former professional rugby league footballer of the 1960s, and 1970s. A Wales and Great Britain international representative front row forward, "Big Jim" as he was known, played club rugby in England with Halifax, Salford, Bradford Northern, Widnes and Workington Town, and also in Australia for North Sydney. His son, David Mills also became a Front Row forward for Widnes, playing in Super League.
Professional playing career
Mills started playing rugby league in 1965 for English club Halifax. In 1972 he started playing for Widnes. Mills won caps for Great Britain in 1974 against Australia (2 matches) and New Zealand. Mills played Left-Prop, i.e. number 8, and scored a try in Widnes' 14–7 victory over Warrington in the 1975 Challenge Cup Final during the 1974–75 season at Wembley Stadium, London on Saturday 10 May 1975.
During the 1974–75 season Mills played at prop forward in Widnes' 6–2 victory over Salford in the 1974 Lancashire Cup Final at Central Park, Wigan on Saturday 2 November 1974, played Left-Prop, i.e. number 8, in the 16–7 victory over Salford in the 1975 Lancashire County Cup Final during the 1975–76 season at Central Park, Wigan on Saturday 4 October 1975, played Left-Prop, i.e. number 8, in Workington Town's 11–16 defeat by Widnes in the 1976 Lancashire County Cup Final during the 1976–77 season at Central Park, Wigan on Saturday 30 October 1976, and played Left-Prop, i.e. number 8, in Widnes' 15–13 victory over Workington Town in the 1978 Lancashire County Cup Final during the 1978–79 season at Central Park, Wigan on Saturday 7 October 1978.
Mills played Left-Prop, i.e. number 8, in Widnes' 0-5 defeat by Leigh in the 1972 BBC2 Floodlit Trophy Final during the 1972–73 season at Central Park, Wigan on Tuesday 19 December 1972, and played Right-Prop, i.e. number 10, in the 13-7 victory over St. Helens in the 1978 BBC2 Floodlit Trophy Final during the 1978–79 season at Knowsley Road, St. Helens on Tuesday 12 December 1978.
After a strong display in Wales' win against England in the 1975 World Series in Brisbane, Sydney's Manly-Warringah and Canterbury-Bankstown clubs were keen to get the prop forward's signature. Mills was banned for the rest of the season after stomping on John Greengrass' head in the 25–24 win over New Zealand at Swansea in the same tournament. The ban was eventually lifted on 2 January 1976, however Mills remained banned for life by the New Zealand Rugby League.
Mills played Prop in the 12–3 victory over Wakefield Trinity in the 1979 Challenge Cup Final during the 1978–79 season at Wembley Stadium, London on Saturday 5 May 1979. He played for Great Britain again in 1978 and '79 against Australia.
Mills played Left-Prop, i.e. number 8, in Widnes' 2-3 defeat by Bradford Northern in the 1974–75 Player's No.6 Trophy Final during the 1974–75 season at Wilderspool Stadium, Warrington on Saturday 25 January 1975, played Left-Prop in the 19-13 victory over Hull F.C. in the 1975–76 Player's No.6 Trophy Final during the 1975–76 season at Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds on Saturday 24 January 1976, played Left-Prop in the 16-4 victory over Warrington in the 1978–79 John Player Trophy Final during the 1978–79 season at Knowsley Road, St. Helens on Saturday 28 April 1979, and played as an Interchange/Substitute (replacing Prop Brian Hogan) in the 0-6 defeat by Bradford Northern in the 1979–80 John Player Trophy Final during the 1979–80 season at Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds on Saturday 5 January 1980.
Open Rugby inaugural World XIII
The Open Rugby inaugural World XIII was revealed in June 1978, it was; Graham Eadie, John Atkinson, Steve Rogers, Jean-Marc Bourret, Green Vigo, Roger Millward, Steve Nash, Jim Mills, Keith Elwell, Steve Pitchford, Terry Randall, George Nicholls, and Greg Pierce.
Mills was also one of the original thirteen former Widnes players inducted into the Widnes Hall of Fame in 1992. That year he also worked as team manager for the Welsh national team.
- "A Rugby Giant". widnesvikings.co.uk. Widnes Vikings. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
- Lush, Peter; Bamford, Maurice (2013). Big Jim: Jim Mills – A rugby giant. London League Publication. ISBN 978-1903659700.
- Clarkson, Alan (13 June 1975). "Canterbury's bid for Mills". The Sydney Morning Herald. p. 13. Retrieved 1 January 2009.
- Mills granted the stamp of forgiveness by Kiwi Greengrass after 33 years The Daily Mail, 20 June 2008
- Tears and handshake for league thuggery 33 years ago The Press, 29 June 2008
- "Statistics at rugbyleagueproject.org". rugbyleagueproject. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012.