Miller Stars in Sydney

Sydney football has boasted some remarkable players and characters over the years but none more than the enigmatic Keith Miller, AM, MBE.

Miller debuted with St Kilda in 1940 as a 20 year old.  He had already represented Victoria as right arm fast bowler in the Sheffield Shield but made his mark in football circles between 1940-42 & 46 playing a total of 50 games with the Saints and in the process, kicking 42 goals.

He moved to Sydney in 1947, primarily as a cricketer and a journalist with a Sydney newspaper.

On hearing of his move, footy officials rushed the cricketing playboy off his feet to sign him.  Sydney Naval won the right to his signature  but he was late for their first practice game against Eastern Suburbs on 19 April at Trumper Park.

He turned up at half time after spending the early part of the afternoon at the races.  Sydney put him straight on and despite his suggested ‘dabbling’ at Randwick, Miller starred.

Just before three quarter time he was awarded a free kick in the centre of the ground.  The bell had been sounded so players and spectators started to move towards the formation of a huddle, but not Miller.  Much to the surprise of everyone at the ground, he walked back with the ball then with a mighty roost put the ball straight between the posts at the Glenmore Road end to record a 70 yard (65m) goal.

Later in the match he popped a goal with a 60m drop kick.

Miller was selected as vice captain that year in the NSW team which played a remarkable nine games.  Most of these were in the Australian National Football Carnival in Tasmania.  Miller did not star but certainly deserved his place.

1947 was the one and only season he played football in Sydney.  Having already represented Victoria in football, he was one of the very few sportsmen to represent both NSW and Victoria at cricket and football.

Only a few months later Miller was chosen to play for Australia as one of The Invincibles, in the very successful 1948 tour of England where he was outstanding.

He spent many years living in England but had his last experience with football in Sydney.  In 1987 Miller was appointed Chief Commissioner of the NSW Football League, a post he only held for 12 months but added enthusiasm and spirit to the organisation at a time when it was needed.

Miller died in 2004.

Leave a Reply