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Ex-West Brom, Arsenal, M’boro, Birmingham, Blackburn keeper passes away at just 51

Ex-West Brom, Arsenal, M’boro and Birmingham, Blackburn keeper Alan Miller passes away at just 51 according to his former clubs.

Shock and sadness has gripped the football world after the death of the former goalkeeper who was loved by many that knew him.

He had owned a couple of racehorses as a footballer before then going on to become a Norfolk pub landlord as well as an estate manager and transformed the Wells-next-the-Sea Beach Cafe, making it extremely pet friendly, making headlines.

Miller began as an apprentice at Arsenal in 1984 and won the FA Youth Cup with them in 1988 as well as earned four caps for the England under-21 team. However, with John Lukic and then David Seaman, first-team opportunities were rare.

He finally made his Arsenal debut on the 21st of November 1992 as a substitute, the first ever Gunners goalkeeper to come on as a sub. He made another seven appearances over the next two seasons. He won FA Cup and League Cup winners’ medals in 1992–93 and a European Cup Winners’ Cup medal in 1993–94, as an unused substitute each time.

In summer 1994, opting for first team football, Miller moved to Middlesbrough for £500,000, winning a First Division winners’ medal in his first season.

In 1997, he signed for West Brom in a £400,000 deal, before moving on to Blackburn Rovers in 2000. He played only two games during his time at Ewood Park, against Sheffield United in the league and Portsmouth in the League Cup.

While at Blackburn, he went on loan to Bristol City and Coventry City during 2000–01. His only appearance at Coventry was one to forget, as he came on as a substitute against Chelsea after Chris Kirkland was sent off. The Sky Blues lost 6–1.

In October 2001, he was out on loan again, this time to St Johnstone. He was recalled from his loan spell at St Johnstone to take his place on the bench as Blackburn won the 2002 Football League Cup Final, providing back-up to Brad Friedel, because of injury to the regular second-choice goalkeeper Alan Kelly. Miller retired in 2003 after failing to overcome a back injury.


Youth career
1984–1988 – Arsenal

Senior career
1988–1994 – Arsenal
1988–1989 → Plymouth (loan)
1991 → West Brom (loan)
1991–1992 → Birmingham (loan)
1994–1997 – Middlesbrough
1997 → Huddersfield (loan)
1997 → Grimsby (loan)
1997 → West Brom (loan)
1997–2000 – West Brom
2000–2003 – Blackburn
2000 → Bristol City (loan)
2000 → Coventry (loan)
2001–2002 → St Johnstone (loan)

National team
England U21


FA Youth Cup: 1988
FA Charity Shield: 1991 (shared)
FA Cup: 1993
League Cup: 1993
European Cup Winners Cup: 1994

First Division: 1995

Blackburn Rovers
League Cup: 2002

First Division PFA Team of the Year: 1997–98

Miller was one of Bryan Robson’s first Middlesbrough signings when he took charge of the club in 1994 and the keeper, who arrived from Arsenal, played 57 league games in his three years on Teesside.

He left to join West Brom and then had a couple of loan spells before retiring in 2002.

Miller was a hugely popular figure in the Boro dressing room at Ayresome Park and the Riverside and central to the success in those early years under Robson.

He played in the first game at the Riverside against Chelsea in 1995. Here’s an impressive save he made against the Blues, which had many a fan trying to replicate…

Miller’s devastated former Boro teammates paid tribute on social media when news broke of his passing.

Robbie Mustoe wrote: “Awful news, my teammate Alan Miller passed away today. So very very sad. What a super human, a great fun-loving man. Brilliant GK for Boro & one of the big personalities in our dressing room. Thanks for years of great memories, a pleasure to have known you. RIP Al.”

Graham Kavanagh wrote: “Just heard about a friend I played with Alan Miller who has passed and I can’t believe it. One of life’s really positive people and good guys, and am absolutely gutted for him and all his family and friends. RIP big man.”

Jan Aage Fjortoft said: “I have just been told that my former teammate at Boro, Alan Miller, has passed away. Alan was one of the good guys. I will remember his smile and his ability to make good atmosphere wherever he was. RIP.”

Craig Hignett wrote: “Devastating news. So sad, what a man ….you will be sorely missed maxi…RIP Big man.”

Curtis Fleming said: “Devastated to hear about Big Al’s sudden death. Great lad, great character, always smiling. He’ll be missed. My thoughts are with his family and friends.”

Former Boro keeper Jim Platt wrote: “It’s very sad that Alan Miller a former Middlesbrough goalkeeper has passed away at the young age of 51. RIP my fellow GK.”

As well as former Boro players, fans have paid tribute on social media, as have his friends and teammates from other clubs.

Lee Dixon, who was with Miller at Arsenal, wrote: “Devastated to hear the news that our team mate Alan Miller has passed away. He was one of life’s good guys. What a man. Heart of gold. RIP my friend.”

Carlton Palmer said: “Gutted to hear the news about Alan Miller, my thoughts and prayers are with his family . An absolute great human being what a sad loss.”

Fans reacted after that that the ex-West Brom, Arsenal, M’boro, Birmingham, Blackburn keeper passes away at just 51…

@DaveWBA1878: One of our greatest, and also most important goalies of all time. The Rrght man, at the right time – a rarity for us. Highly appreciated and never forgotten. RIP Alan Miller

@WBAcambolia: Soo true, when he arrived, he completely lifted the club, off and on the pitch. Fans took to him straight away, some the performances in his time with us were just simply out of this world.

@gemmadowneswba: Absolutely awful news, a lot of Baggies fans are genuinely upset tonight. A good man and a great goalkeeper, thoughts go to his family and friends. R.I.P Alan Miller

@terryhall08: Best keeper i ever saw at Argyle. Rip

@fatboydave73: Our first true number 13; always played that role with a smile on his face and never let us down when called upon. RIP.

@baggiedave70: Shocked. His display in that win vs Blues one, if not the, best I’ve ever seen from an Albion keeper. RIP The Mighty Miller Man.

@BenHow1: Brilliant keeper. Watched him live while on loan at blues and he was superb. Proper childhood hero.

@albionjonnywok: RIP. I can hear it now “Miller, Miller, Miller, Miller”. A proper cult hero at the Albion. You’ll never be forgotten and always appreciated #onceabaggiealwaysabaggie

@johnnieK88: Remember watching Alan Miller in goal for Baggies v Blues, match was live on central TV on a Sunday afternoon. We played Albion off the pitch & lost 1-0, all down to him, utterly superb performance. All you could hear was Albion fans singing we only need one chance! RIP so sad

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