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Jock Miller

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Jock Miller

PostedNovember 17, 2021

Cowdenbeath FC must sadly report the passing of former Cowden favourite Jock Miller on 3 November 2021. We send sincere condolences from everyone here at Central Park and from all our supporters to his friends and family.

John Miller was born in Pretoria Place, Cowdenbeath and his early football was played with Kirkford Boys Club who were run by Willie Miller. Davie Baillie who was involved with the Boys Club movement at Area Level then got Jock a trial for the Scottish Boys Club side. He was selected to represent Scotland in Boys Club internationals. He played v England at Peterborough when Bobby Charlton was in the England side. Then he represented Scotland v Wales in a match at Central Park. Jock also played for Foulford and Beath High Schools and then for Cowdenbeath Royals as well as Crossgates Primrose. He made his senior debut for Cowdenbeath in 1954 not long past his 17th birthday. By the end of season 1954/55, John had scored 16 goals in 27 games for Cowden and a number of clubs were interested. Cowdenbeath were badly in need of cash at the time. St Mirren, Hearts and Airdrie were all keen. Cowden director John Dougary was a scout for Liverpool and he suggested Liverpool were also interested. Ultimately, it was Bobby Ancell who won the race to sign John for near neighbours Dunfermline who had just been promoted to Division 1. 1,500 was the fee and Ancell said that he had never encountered a player with so much club loyalty as Miller showed towards Cowdenbeath. Considerable persuasion was required before he would join the Pars.

A year later, at a fans meeting, the subject of the transfer of Miller came up. Cowden Chairman Bill Crooks told the assembly that, ‘When John Miller was transferred to Dunfermline it almost broke the laddie’s heart. He wanted to play for Cowden but I told the young lad that he was doing more for the club by agreeing to go than by staying’.

John spent 3 years at East End Park and scored a fair few goals for Dunfermline but was hampered by injury. He then returned to Cowden. Jock scored a hat-trick in his comeback game for Cowden versus Stranraer and played in the 1959/60 League Cup semi-final at Easter Road when Cowden lost to Hearts. In 1960, he got a new job down at Corby and Cowden agreed to his release. He played in just one match for Corby Town and then played for a season in the Welsh League with Rhyl. He finished his career in Australia playing with a club named Whyalla Wanderers. Later he lived in Gagarin Way, Lumphinnans.

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