Leeds United F.C. History
Leeds United F.C. History : Foreword
1919-29 - The Twenties
1930-39 - The Thirties
1939-46 - The War Years
1947-49 - Post War Depression
1949-57 - The Reign of King John
1957-63 - From Charles to Revie
1961-75 - The Revie Years
1975-82 - The Downward Spiral
1982-88 - The Dark Years
1988-96 - The Wilko Years
1996-04 - The Rollercoaster Ride
2004-17 - Down Among The Deadmen
100 Greatest LUFC Players Ever
Greatest Leeds United Games
Players' Profiles
Managers' Profiles
Leeds City F.C. History
Leeds City F.C. Player and Manager Profiles
Leeds United/City Statistics
Leeds United/City Captains
Leeds United/City Friendlies and Other Games
Leeds United/City Reserves and Other Teams

Mills: Donald (Don)

1951-1952 (Player Details)

Inside Forward

Born: Bramley, Nr Rotherham: 17-08-1928

Debut: v Rotherham United (a): 29-09-1951

5’10” 10st 5lb (1957)

Mills had a lengthy League career which included fifteen months at Leeds. After starting with his local club Maltby Main, he was only seventeen when he turned professional with Queens Park Rangers in October 1945, being signed by Dave Mangnall, the former Leeds player. He was a member of the rangers 1948-49 Third Division South Championship winning team and he had scored six goals in forty-five League appearances for Rangers when he spent four months on loan with Torquay United, beginning in March 1949, and proved so popular that the fans tried to buy him, after he had scored thirteen goals in thirty-four appearances at Plainmoor. Eventually Cardiff City bought him for £12,500 in February 1951 after he had added another three goals and thirty-one League appearances in his second spell at Loftus Road. He did not fit in at Cardiff City and only made one appearance without scoring for the Welsh club. In September 1951 he joined Leeds for £12,000 and he met with varying success, figuring regularly at inside forward partnering Ray Iggleden, and on the scoresheet, with some memorable strikes, but the arrival of Albert Nightingale saw him as the third of three players for the two inside forward berths. Torquay finally paid a club record fee to signed him in December 1952 and he stayed at Plainmoor for twenty years, retiring as a player in 1962. He is generally regarded as Torquay’s greatest-ever player and remained as a coach and scout at Plainmoor until the 1970’s. He was officially elected as the "Greatest Player ever to play for Torquay United" in the Football League Hall of Fame in June 2007. He did spearhead Torquay in 1954-55, much to Leeds United’s chagrin. The 1954-55 season saw a change of colours for Torquay, from the old black and white to a new gold and blue. It also saw Torquay's greatestever F.A. Cup moment. After defeating Cambridge United 4-0 at home and Blyth Spartans 1-3 away, Torquay were drawn against Leeds United in the Third Round. Nobody expected the team to go to Elland Road and get any kind of favourable result, so when they managed a 2-2 draw in Yorkshire, the scene was set for over 11,000 fans to crowd into Plainmoor on a Wednesday afternoon, on 12th January 1955. The teams lined up: Torquay United: Jefferies; J.V. Smith, H. Smith; Lewis, Webber, Norman; Shaw, Collins, Dobbie, Mills and J.T. Smith. Leeds United: Wood; Dunn, Hair; Ripley, Marsden, Kerfoot; Williams, Nightingale, Charles, Brook and McCall. Incredibly, with goals from Sammy Collins, Harold Dobbie, Ronnie Shaw and captain Don Mills, playing against his old club, Torquay ran out 4-0 winners, to set up a Fourth Round clash with Huddersfield Town. The Torquay United versus Huddersfield Town Fourth Round F.A. Cup game at Plainmoor will always live on in the memory of those who attended the match on the 29th January 1955. Just how 21,908 people managed to fit into the ground is a mystery. Although Torquay lost 0-1 to the then Division One club, the day is still one of the most talked about events in Torquay United's history, and the record crowd is never likely to be beaten. Mills was still inspirational as he was a leading light in Torquay’s promotion to the Third Division in 1959-60. He was still there in 1961-62 when they were relegated and he finally hung up his boots. In his second and longest spell with the club he made three hundred and eight League appearances and scored sixty-eight goals. A cultured creative midfielder with an uncanny ability to score the most sublime of goals, his ability was recognized by the selectors of the Old Third Division and he played for the South against the North on several occasions. On 16th March 1955 he was picked at Inside Left, with Ex-Leeds man Jimmy Langley, then of Brighton and Hove Albion at Left Back and the South won by 2-0 in a game played at Reading's Elm Park. On 13th October 1955 the game took place at Peel Park, Accrington, and he was called in to replace Peter Hill of Coventry City at Inside Right against a side that included ex-Leeds man Bobby Webb, then of Bradford City, at Outside Right. In a game which was televised in the second half the two teams played out a 3-3 draw, after Mills had opened the scoring in the first half. On 8th October 1956 he was at Inside-Right in a team that again included Jimmy Langley and, in a game played at Coventry City's Highfield Road, South won by 2-1. The North gained revenge by the same score on 2nd April 1957 at Stockport County's Edgeley Park, when Mills was again at Inside Right. With great ball control, deceptive feints, accuracy of distribution, and the ability to ‘read’ a game and thus dictate its progress, he was an outstanding player whom sports journalists at every level racked their brains for new adjectives to describe. The ‘Mills Bomb’ was a favourite headline to describe his impact. Mills played in Four Hundred and Sixty-Four League games and scored Ninety-Six goals, together with three goals in the F.A. Cup and one in the League Cup which enabled him to reach One Hundred in first class football. He was awarded a Testimonial and on 28th October 1963 against a combined Plymouth Argyle and Swindon Town XI at Plainmoor. He later became a traffic warden in Torquay and died in February 1994.

League 349
F.A. Cup 31