Tall centre half Michael Milner was a forward when he played schoolboy football while growing up off Hull’s Anlaby Road, but settled into a half back role when he joined Hull City’s groundstaff in 1955 and signed his first professional contract in July 1957. For several years Milner was a capable replacement for the Tigers’ highly established half back line, principally centre half Paul Feasey. After making his first team debut in March 1959 Milner had to wait eighteen months for his next chance when Feasey was absent for a September 1960 trip to Bristol City. The Tigers won both of Milner’s first two senior matches, a portentious sign of things to come six years later.
At the end of the 1960/61 season Milner was given two starts at centre forward, having scored a few goals while playing up front for the Reserves. This experiment was short lived and Chris Chilton was soon returned the number 9 shirt. Milner continued to fill in at centre half – a Boxing Day 1961 defeat against Crystal Palace, a handful of games in April 1962 that yielded four wins, five more starts at the start of the 1962/63 season that featured three defeats. With Feasey once again restored to the centre of City’s defence in September 1962 Milner could have been excused if he had sought pastures new as he approached his 23rd birthday, but he stayed loyal to the Tigers and eventually caught the eye of manager Cliff Britton as City mounted a concerted effort to win promotion from the Third Division.
Milner started eight matches in the early weeks of the 1963/64 season before once again yielding to Feasey, but at the end of February 1964 Milner was restored and commenced a run of Feasey-like consistency in the City first team. He missed only seven matches in the 1964/65 season as Britton made purchases that put the final touches to his promotion squad, then Milner was ever present in League and Cups throughout the 1965/66 season that saw the Tigers crowned Third Division champions and reach the FA Cup Quarter Finals. Mike’s consistency extended into the 1966/67 season as he missed only six games until injury curtailed his season in April 1967. In the 1967/68 season the acqusitions of Frank Banks and then Tom Wilson squeezed Milner out of the first team picture and by the 1968 close season he finally accepted that his time was up at Boothferry Park after 13 years of loyal service.
Milner joined Division Three side Stockport County in July 1968 and was a regular choice at centre half for the Hatters, making 47 appearances and missing only five league games. In September 1969 he transferred to Division Three strugglers Barrow but after just 16 starts – four of which were in an epic FA Cup First Round tie against non-League Alfreton Town – he transferred to Division Three rivals Bradford City. After just one substitute appearance for the Bantams in February 1970 Milner joined Goole Town in May 1970 where he saw out his playing days before returning to his trade working with sheet metal, later owning a chain of Hull fish and chip shops.
Date/Place of Birth: 21 September 1939, Hull
Hull City First Game: 30 March 1959, Tranmere Rovers H (Division Three), 19 years, 190 days old
Hull City Final Game: 30 August 1967, Bolton Wanderers H (Division Two), 27 years, 343 days old
Hull City (1957-1968), Stockport County (1968-1969), Barrow (1969), Bradford City (1969-1970), Goole Town (1970-1971)
Hull City Record
Career: 176 apps, 0 goalsMike Milner
|1965/66||46 (0)||0||7 (0)||0||2 (0)||0||-||-||-||-|
|1966/67||33 (0)||0||2 (0)||0||1 (0)||0||-||-||-||-|