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|Full name||Daniel John Mills|
|Date of birth||18 May 1977|
|Place of birth||Norwich, England|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Playing position||Right back|
|2003–2004||→ Middlesbrough (loan)||28||(0)|
|2006||→ Hull City (loan)||9||(0)|
|2007||→ Charlton Athletic (loan)||19||(0)|
|2008||→ Derby County (loan)||2||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Daniel John Mills (born 18 May 1977 in Norwich, Norfolk) is an English former professional footballer best known for his time at Leeds United. 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, due to an ongoing knee injury.
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.
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 UEFA Champions League Semi-final. Mills' Champions League debut came in Leeds' 4–0 defeat by Barcelona at the Nou Camp.
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 often said that he would've liked to go back to Leeds again (along with Olivier Dacourt), but this never materialised. Mills has been seen at Leeds games with his son after the club's relegation to the Football League Championship.
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 Stadium. 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 25 yards (23 m) 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 after his contract finally expired. On 7 August 2009 Mills announced his retirement from all football during an appearance on BBC Five Live.
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 Park. His first England start came on 27 March 2002 in a friendly against Italy. At the 2002 FIFA World Cup, Mills was chosen as England's first choice right-back following an injury to Gary Neville, and he played every minute of England's five matches.
Mills is a patron of Shine (formerly 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. Mills now acts as a regular pundit and commentator (often alongside Alan Green) for BBC Radio Five Live's coverage of the Premier League, League Cup, FA Cup, UEFA Champions League and England national football team matches.
In 2016, he ran the London Marathon for The Bobby Moore Fund, finishing in a time of 3hours 14mins 46secs.... he had previously run the Yorkshire Marathon for the Jane Tomlinson Appeal in 3hours 17mins.
Other Events for Charity include Triathlons, long cycle rides and Ironman events.
Since retirement he has moved into the Business World, working with Endless LLP & Enact Private Equity as a Board Advisory Member. The first major acquisition and disposal was the West Cornwall Pasty Co. which delivered returns of more than 5x to investors.
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Norwich City||1995–96||First Division||14||0||0||0||3||1||—||17||1|
|Charlton Athletic||1997–98||First Division||9||1||—||—||2[a]||0||11||1|
|Leeds United||1999–00||Premier League||17||1||1||0||1||1||2[b]||0||21||2|
|Middlesbrough (loan)||2003–04||Premier League||28||0||2||0||7||0||—||37||0|
|Manchester City||2004–05||Premier League||32||0||1||0||2||0||—||35||0|
|Hull City (loan)||2006–07||Championship||9||0||—||—||—||9||0|
|Charlton Athletic (loan)||2007–08||Championship||19||0||—||0||0||—||19||0|
|Derby County (loan)||2007–08||Premier League||2||0||1||0||—||—||3||0|