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Daniel John "Danny" Mills (born 18 May 1977 in Norwichmarker, Norfolk) is a former Englishmarker professional footballer. 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.

Club career

Early career

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

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 Campmarker.

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.

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.

Manchester City

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 Stadiummarker.. 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 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 as his contract expired.

International career

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 Parkmarker. His first England start came on 27 March 2002 in a friendly against Italy. He represented England at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, playing every minute of England's five matches, and made a total of 19 appearances for the national team. Mills' 19 caps were all won for 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.

Outside football

Mills is a patron of ASBAH (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.

In 2010 he will race the Brighton marathon in a wheelchair to raise money for ASBAH and the National Association of Disabled Supporters.

Honours

League Cup 2003-04

References

  1. p476


External links




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