Former Norwich City winger Johnny Miller dies, aged 65


miller - Credit: Archant

Former Norwich City winger Johnny Miller has died at the age of 65 after a battle with cancer.

The Ipswich-born player joined the Canaries from his home town club in October, 1974 and played 29 times while scoring five goals before moving on in the summer of 1976.

Miller's short spell at Carrow Road coincided with an eventful period in the club's history, with City reaching Wembley and securing promotion back to the top flight during his stay.

He returned to play at Portman Road less than two months after his move and scored either side of half-time to knock Ipswich out of the League Cup in a fifth round replay. The match ended 2-1 after a 1-1 draw at Carrow Road six days earlier in which Miller also played.

The Canaries went on to reach the final that season against Aston Villa and Miller also played from the start in front of 100,000 at Wembley as John Bond's side were beaten 1-0. The Canaries then went on to secure an immediate return to the old Division One, with Miller contributing three goals to the cause in 14 league appearances.

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The following season he was limited to just eight games, without finding the net, and left the club in the summer of 1976 to join Mansfield Town. He later played for Port Vale before calling time on his professional career in 1980.

A Norwich City spokesman paid tribute to Miller, saying: 'Although Johnny had a relatively short career with Norwich City he is one of a select band of players to have represented the club at Wembley.

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'He was also part of John Bond's team who got promotion to the old Division One in 1974-75.

'Our thoughts go out to Johnny's family at this sad time.'

Miller made his name at Ipswich Town, for whom he made his debut in March 1969 against Coventry City, after coming through the club's youth system.

He scored four goals in his five years at the club, making 43 appearances during one of the most successful periods in the club's history.

Town archivist Pat Godbold said he was a 'lovely, jovial, chappy'.

She said: 'He was a bit of a joker, and very popular.

'Although he didn't make many appearances he was still a good member of our happy family, so to speak. He lived so far away but I don't think he missed many reunions.'

Kevin Beattie, who was an apprentice when Miller played for Ipswich, said: 'He had this cheeky side. He would try to take the mick but we'd always get him back.

'He was such a happy guy. Don't forget he was a very good player. He really was a star.

'His attitude was brilliant. He always gave 100pc and nothing less. He's going to be sadly missed.'

After leaving the game, Miller became a taxi driver in Mansfield, where he died in hospital after a battle with cancer.

His family made an announcement on Miller's Facebook page, saying: 'Sad news today. John passed away surrounded by his family. Strong until the end, he never lost the smile from his face. We are all heartbroken.'

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