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Matt Mills




Date of birth






Mills had begun his footballing education with Southampton before earning a big move to Manchester City in 2006.

He made his debut in a Premier League defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, but without establishing himself in the first team he joined Doncaster Rovers on loan, winning promotion to the Championship via a play-off victory over Leeds United before joining the Keepmoat club permanently for a record Rovers fee.

In 2009, Brendan Rodgers lured him to Madejski Stadium and early in Brian McDermott’s reign he was handed the captain’s armband.

The headstrong centre-back became a permanent fitting in the back four and lead admirably from the last line of defence, despite a few hiccups along the way.

He made 60 league starts for the Royals, and another 11 came in the Cup. As it happened it was in one of those cup games that Mills could have made Royal history.

3-1 down and 10 minutes into the second half at Wembley, when that powerful second flew past Dorus De Vries in between the City sticks, Reading fans began to believe that an incredible comeback was possible.

Had Jem Karacan’s low drive glanced in off the base of the post to equalise, Mills may have added his name to the list of skippers who had guided us into the top tier.

But, as it was, a shell-shocked Swans side recovered and levered their way into the Premier League and Mills was subsequently sold to Leicester City to allow Brian McDermott to rebuild (swiftly and successfully as it turned out).

Since then, Mills’ career has stuttered, leaving Leicester for Bolton but unable to establish himself at either Championship side to date. But for that header, and the hope it briefly gave half of Wembley, Mills will always be remembered.