A FORMER Whitby Town player who once became Britain’s first £500,000 footballer tells the tale of his career, which ended with a tragic car crash, in a new book.
Whitby-born David Mills shot to prominence with Middlesbrough where he starred alongside the likes of Graeme Souness and Nobby Stiles, persuading West Brom to pay half a million pounds for his services in 1979.
In an impressive career in which he worked alongside footballing greats like Jack Charlton, Kevin Keegan, Sir Bobby Robson and Kenny Dalglish, Mills also played Sheffield Wednesday, Newcastle United , ‘Boro again and Darlington before eventually finishing his career at Whitby Town.
His book, There but for Fortune, tells the story of this talented footballer who appeared eight times for England under 23s at the height of his career.
Whitby Town fans may recall the time when Mills was snapped up for his hometown club by then manager Peter Creamer, who played with in the same side as Mills at ‘Boro.
Mills quickly became a crowd favourite at the Turnbull for his assured displays and went on to take up the role of player-coach with the Blues, also serving as their commercial manager.
But his career was ended following a tragic accident in the Tyne Tunnel which killed his father and left Mills in hospital.
The book tells how the personal tragedy devastated Mills and his family and how he put the pieces of his life back together by working as a scout and a media pundit.
Such was his respect in the game that after the accident, first division West Brom brought a full-strength team, including Andy Gray and managed by Ron Atkinson, to play in a benefit match on a quagmire of a pitch.
He is currently a senior scouting co-ordinator at Hull City.
There but for Fortune is available to buy now for £16.99 through Vertical Editions (www.verticaleditions.com) but Whitby Gazette readers can win one of two books we have available as competition prizes.
* To win copies of the book, buy Tuesday’s Whitby Gazette.