Date: 28th March 2016 at 6:26pm
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Well if the truth be known he would be too good for this league but I am quite sure that if manager Mick McCarthy could turn the clock back, then here is a player he would love to have in his side! He was Mr.Dependable and a great captain!

Mills was a no-nonsense defender who mad a staggering 591 appearances for The Tractor Boys between the years of 1966 to 1982 and of course he was capped for England on no less than 42 occasions, which I guess is testament to his value on the world stage as well.

These days of course he helps out Brenner Wholley in the commentary box but after ending his playing career with Stoke City he went into management with the same club, after he stopped playing in 1985.

Mills began life in football with Portsmouth but when they scrapped their youth policy, he was picked up by Ipswich Town and he made his debut for the first team at just 17 in 1966 when the blues were victorious in a 5-2 victory against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

It was not until 1969 that he really established himself in the team, under the expert guidance of Sir Bobby Robson and in 1971 Robson gave Mills the captain’s armband and he never looked back!

It was former Ipswich boss Sir Alf Ramsey who gave him his first international cap in a 1-1 draw with the then Yugoslavia at the old Wembley Stadium. He was played at right back by Ramsey and most of his caps were in this role – although with Town he was used as a left back – or even occasionally in midfield.

His managerial career was far less successful than his playing days and he had a torrid time with Stoke and lost his job after four years of struggle with them in 1989, as the club looked to be heading for the third tier of football for since time since 1927.

A brief spell as Colchester United boss ensured but after just months in the job he was again shown the door.

His last managerial post was with Birmingham City in 2001 when he shared the job with Trevor Francis and briefly became caretaker manager when Francis was suddenly fired.

Mick Mills will always be remembered as a great defender though. He was not only a player of real quality but was also a very worthy captain; both of the blues and of the national side.

He might always keep that remarkable record number of appearances too, as it seems highly unlikely that in the modern game it will ever be broken. Loyalty, as we have seen with Stephen Gerrard, is far too quickly forgotten and rarely rewarded these days.

When you hear him week in and week out on Radio Suffolk giving his match analysis, never forget just what he did for this wonderful football club and indeed England over a magnificent career that spanned almost whole two decades.

Frank Weston – editor of Vital Ipswich


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