Kenny Miller’s playing career was extremely impressive.

Almost 900 appearances for club and country, not far off 300 goals, and an extensive array of individual and team honours.

One of only five post-war to represent both sides of the Old Firm in Rangers and Celtic, he also played in Turkey and America, and was still going strong at the age of 40.

And, in an incredible accolade shared with none other than Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Miller scored a professional goal in four separate decades.  Timeless. 

But, during the course of a lengthy conversation, focused largely on Wolves, what quickly becomes abundantly clear is how much the former Scotland international striker enjoyed his five years at Molineux which – like so many lived out by players past and present – included a range of emotions.

A promotion collapse and play-off misery, unadulterated play-off glory including a goal in the final, a difficult season in the Premier League and then a couple of near-misses.  It was quite the variety.

“I loved it at Wolves, I genuinely loved my time there,” says Miller.

“It was the longest single spell of my career, the years I had at Wolves.

“They are a massive football club and it’s great to see them doing well in the Premier League as they have for the last few years.

“Wolves will always be one of the first results that I look for.

“There was such a good group of players, such a strong dressing room.

“It is 22 years now since I joined the club, and yet I still speak regularly to so many of those lads, and, in football, that’s a long time to maintain those sorts of relationships.

“Naturally you often go your separate ways with the number of clubs you have and players that you meet so to still be in touch with so many of the boys from that time shows how strong that group was.”

There is of course another big factor why that group is still so tight.  A Millennium reason, on what will forever be counted as one of the greatest days in Wolves’ history.  May 26th, 2003.  Wolves 3, Sheffield United 0.

The 20th anniversary of that play-off victory over Sheffield United is coming up in little over a month’s time.

A day never to be forgotten as Miller followed Mark Kennedy and Nathan Blake onto the first half goalscoring list, and Matt Murray saved a second half penalty, as Wolves blew the Blades away to reach the Premier League for the very first time.

Stuff like that didn’t usually happen to Wolves.  A year earlier they had seen their hopes of automatic promotion derailed thanks to West Bromwich Albion. After picking up the pieces, midway through that 2002/03 season they were occupying mid table and boss Dave Jones was under pressure.  Four previous trips to the play-offs had ended in failure.

Not this one, however.  This one was different.

“We were in really good form going into the play-offs,” Miller recalls.

“We had finished 5th, which I think has been quite a popular spot to go up.

“The FA Cup win against Newcastle in January, and getting to the quarter finals, actually provided the spark which helped our league form.

“We had some really good battles with Reading that season and came through the semi- final, but knew that Sheffield United were going to be just as tough.

“I still remember standing in the tunnel, because it was the most nervous I have ever felt before a game.

“I never usually got nervous because, even at that young age, I was always focusing on the job I needed to do for the team and on giving myself the best possible chance to have a good game.

“That day though, I knew what was at stake, and we had seen all the build-up about the massive importance of this one-off game.

“And of course, we knew what it meant to the fans, and there was the banner behind the goal which almost had it down to the second about how long Wolves had been out of the top division.

“This was the chance to get to the Premier League, why I moved to Wolves in the first place, and something I believed we were going to do the year before.

“But then, we were 3-0 up at half time, I mean, in a play-off final, how do you get any better than that?

“I have always been somebody who is very realistic and would normally be thinking that half time meant only half the job had been done.

“That day though, I was just thinking, ‘we’re not going to lose this’, although it still needed a penalty save from big Matty not long into the second half.

“That just reinforced it though, when Matty did that, I just knew that it was going to be our day.”

It certainly was, and, as Miller suggests, offered the chance to live out a Premier League dream.


Kenny Miller had already played in the Scottish Premier Division, and had become a hot prospect north of the border well in advance of joining Wolves.

During his first spell with Rangers, he had played – and scored – in the Champions League, as well as setting a Premier League record of grabbing five goals in a 7-1 win against St Mirren.

He had joined the Gers in the summer of 2000 having just been named Scottish Young Player of the Year whilst with Hibernian, which is where he had really burst onto the scene.

Alex McLeish was a key manager for Miller during his career, and helped him develop at Easter Road.

But there was also another major factor in Miller’s development during his formative years in football, and that was former Scottish midfielder-turned-coach, Donald Park.

“From the age of maybe 12 or 13 I trained with several different clubs, going on the school camps and so on, and Donald was a constant when I was at Hibs,” says Miller.

“When I eventually joined Hibs, he did pretty much everything within the youth set-up and helped me all the way through to the first team.

“Myself and the other lads were really fortunate, because not only is he a top level coach, he also gave us an education in what it would take to become a footballer.

“It wasn’t just about giving us the tools in terms of the technical side and his coaching abilities, but also about the daily standards and work ethic that it would need to be successful.”

Miller admits his move to Rangers was, as a fan of the club, a “dream”, and yet, after 18 months, that dream – for the first time at least – came to an end.

Claudio Caniggia and Russell Latapy had been brought in, taking the club’s tally of strikers to seven or eight, and the young Miller was finding himself not only out of the starting eleven, but sometimes the matchday squad.

His agent at the time, Gordon Smith, knew Wolves CEO Jez Moxey from respective spells working in Scotland, and so, there followed the chance of a loan switch to Wolves.

“Throughout my career, my take has always been that if I’m not going to be playing, then I wasn’t one for hanging around,” Miller explains.

“Fortunately, it didn’t happen too often, and I would always fight for my place, but if it didn’t look like I was going to get much football, I always just wanted to be somewhere with a chance I could play.

“So, when the loan deal came up, I was like, ‘absolutely – let’s do it’.

“From the second I arrived at Wolves, it felt good, and I got off to a decent start in the first few games.

“Then, in the fifth game, against Nottingham Forest, I broke my collarbone.

“But by then I think Dave Jones had seen enough, and, with Sir Jack at the helm, they wanted to spend some decent money on bringing me down to the club even though I had been injured for two months of the loan.

“Wolves wanting to sign me when I had been injured made me feel really valued and wanted, and is just the sort of feeling you want as a player.

“I had settled straightaway and had connected with the fans with the way I played and went about my business.”

Returning to fitness for the second half of that season, Miller was largely used as a substitute, as Wolves missed out on promotion, but that made success – 12 months later – all the sweeter.

Miller’s explosive second half of the season – at one stage he scored in seven successive games – dove-tailed with that of Wolves, and he looks back on the strikers the team had at their disposal, as well as the signings of Paul Ince and Denis Irwin, as pivotal to play-off triumph.

“The arrivals of Incey and Denis was crucial,” he explains.

“That group was full of great players, you can see that by the careers that some of the younger lads went on to have, but those boys came in with experience and a winning mentality.

“Denis’s influence on the back line was incredible.

“He hardly ever missed a game, but I remember one that he did, we went to Brighton and lost 4-1.

“And with Incey, he was the same, another winner, who had such a massive influence at every club he was at.

“I can honestly say there are probably a few players who are perhaps out on their own in the influence they had on me as a team-mate, and Incey is right at the top of that list.

“Playing alongside him was incredible, and this is from someone who loved watching him and remembered at Manchester United and doing that silly celebration dance with Giggsy (Ryan Giggs).

“He was a serial winner, and his impact wasn’t just on me but the other younger lads like Joleon (Lescott), Lee (Naylor) and Keith (Andrews).

“Ability in football is one thing, but having the mindset that Incey and Denis had, that unwavering self-belief is so important.

“To be fair, it is probably something I feel I always had to a degree, but I wasn’t aware how powerful it could be until watching those guys.

“The other big thing that season was the firepower that we had.

“We had Blakey (Nathan Blake) and Deano (Dean Sturridge) who had Premier League experience and I was the younger one who was hungry and wanted to take their jerseys!

“And then we had George Ndah – what a player he was by the way.

“He had his injury problems, but he was 6ft 2in, strong, lightning quick, good in the air and could dribble – if you look at the modern game now, he’d be the sort of player everyone would be looking for.

“I was fit all that season but I remember around Christmas that Blakey got injured and then it was me and George who were both flying.

“Then Blakey came back in and we had Deano as well – it’s very rare that you have four number 9’s in your squad at any one time.

“We had such a good team, the closer we got to promotion the more convinced I was that we were going to do it.”


It was five days which any player would have been proud of.

And Kenny Miller was no different.

On the Saturday afternoon, he notched the only goal of the game at Molineux as Wolves, then bottom, shocked Manchester United, then top.

Then, on the Wednesday night, a last-gasp equaliser to clinch a 1-1 draw at home to fifth-placed Liverpool.

It was to prove a rare high point for Wolves from a difficult first season in the Premier League, which would end in bottom spot and an immediate return to the Championship.

“I always believed I could play at that level,” says Miller.

“And individually, those few days brought some very nice memories.

“My boy is ten now, and, like a lot of young kids, watches a lot of football and loves Messi and Ronaldo.

“He said to me, ‘you beat Ronaldo’, and I’d say I didn’t, and he would tell me that Ronaldo was playing in a game and I beat him.

“You can look back on memories like that after you have retired and they can’t be taken away.

“But as a team, when you come up to the Premier League, you need to strengthen.

“We signed players, but there is probably a debate about whether the players who came in were any better than those in the building at the time.

“I found myself playing on the right of midfield quite a bit, which wasn’t my position, but I would always work hard, wherever I was playing,

“I could maybe produce wee moments to create or pop up with a goal but it was different to what I was used to, and when you’re playing against elite teams, it’s tough when you are putting square pegs into round holes.

“That wasn’t the only reason we struggled, we were up against a different class of opposition, but we did get better, and we did get close.

“It was down to a few points here and there over the course of the season.”

Miller remains appreciative to boss Dave Jones for first bringing him to Wolves, and then helping achieve his Premier League dream, but as time went on, and with that desire to play a more central role up front, he was keen to consider a move elsewhere and a fresh start.

However, when Glenn Hoddle took over after Jones’ departure a few months back into the Championship, Miller took on a new lease of life and is full of praise for the work of the former England manager.

“I learned so much playing under Glenn Hoddle,” he reveals.

“A lot of people now talk about football and have their buzzwords but, for me, this guy was top level, and probably way ahead of his time.

“So, what you hear people talking about now, he was doing all of this back then, he’s a sensational coach.

“I remember the first few days he came in and, from having been a team that generally played 4-4-2, although had to adapt a bit in the Premier League, he had us playing 4-3-3.

“I’m not even sure if 4-3-3 was a thing back then!

“He had Corty (Carl Cort) through the middle, me coming in off the left and Seol (Ki-Hyeon) off the right.

“Even though I was playing off the left, when the ball was on the right, I was like a second striker and I think I finished top scorer in Glenn’s first season.

“There were times, especially in my last season, when I felt invincible, working with a really good coach and still such a good group of players.

“I still strongly believe that team should have gone up.

“There were times we played some really good stuff but we just drew too many matches – had we turned those into wins then we would have been looking at promotion.”

Miller departed Molineux for Celtic after five years having made 191 appearances and scored 63 goals.  He was the first Wolves player this Millennium to reach a half century, and has since been joined in that category by Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Raul Jimenez.

He left the club at 26, pretty much at the top of his game, an international regular with Scotland, and ready to go on – as he did – to achieve much more as a player.

That would include a glut of individual and team honours secured with Celtic and two further spells at Rangers, a return to the Premier League and scoring several goals for Derby County, and a League Cup final appearance for Cardiff City against Liverpool.

His 18th and last Scotland goal was a fantastic turn and shot against England at Wembley, at the age of 33.

Miller also broadened his horizons with spells with Vancouver Whitecaps and Bursaspor, his last appearance coming back in his native Scotland for Partick Thistle against Celtic in January 2020.

He announced his retirement shortly afterwards at the end of a career which had, in his words, ‘gone far beyond my expectations’.

But Miller certainly wasn’t finished with football. Not by a long shot.


Kenny Miller talks exactly how he played.

With complete clarity, enthusiasm and passion.

By his own admission, he is something of a football obsessive.

When he played, he left everything on the pitch, both in the quality he aimed to show and his personality.

In a way it looked like he was never satisfied, like there was always something else to aim for.

And so, it was perhaps to be expected that Miller now has a brand new set of ambitions in front of him – as a coach and, eventually, a manager.

He has completed his Pro License and already boasts varied experience, starting out by helping Rangers Under-20s, being player-manager with Livingston, longer spells assisting former Wolves midfielder Carl Robinson in Australia with Newcastle Jets and Western Sydney Wanderers, assistant and then interim boss at Falkirk, and, most recently, assistant head coach with Huddersfield.

“In football, you are always learning,” says Miller.

“As you go through your career you are always developing and wanting to get better, and what happens is your brain gets better as well.

“You become more aware, so that you know someone might be just as fast or strong as you, so then you have to find a different way to get the better of them.

“That is where you have to use your brain and football intellect, and that doesn’t change when you are coaching.

“The experiences I have had so far have given me even more hunger and belief that I can do the job.

“I have always been really driven, wanting to get the absolute most out of my playing career, the most of my body, pushing it to the limits every day for as long as I could.

“I felt I did that, playing all those games, up till I was 40, and I have pushed myself with my coaching qualifications and experiences.

“It is hard though, there are so many people trying, and people recognise it’s the best job in the world.

“It’s not just ex-players wanting to get involved, coaching education courses are open to everyone and you are competing in such a massive pool of people because there is a pathway there.

“And even when you get in, it can be ruthless, but we all still love it, don’t we?

“I am as hungry as ever, I am obsessed with it.

“From the moment I started out in this game, even before I started playing professionally, I wanted to make it.

“I wanted to play at the highest possible level I could, and it’s no different as a coach or a manager.

“I know there is a long way to go and the hardest thing is to get the opportunity, but I want to get to the very top.

“I’m not going to change now, at 43, if anything I am more determined to get back in and continue this journey.

“It might need starting out from the bottom, but that’s absolutely fine.

“I did it as a player and I’d be more than happy to do it again as a coach and manager.”

For now, Miller is, understandably, in demand for media work, and will perhaps hope that opportunities may open up in the coaching realm this summer.

It’s also a shame he can’t get the boots back on for Wolves next two fixtures because, of his 63 goals for the club, nine came against Leicester and Brighton.

But whisper it quietly, or maybe shout it from the rooftops, but one day he’d love to return to Wolves in a coaching capacity.

“As times move on, your connections with people at the club change, but I’d love to one day be back at Wolves, whether that’s coaching the next group of players, or with some sort of similar role,” he insists.

In the meantime, he is back for a play-off reunion, lining up at the Grand Theatre alongside Matt Murray, Nathan Blake and Mark Kennedy for ‘Sir Jack’s History Boys’, as the play-off final goalscorers and man of the match look back on the big day with Johnny Phillips from Sky Sports.

The night takes place on May 22nd, and Miller is very much looking forward to it.

“Coming back to Wolves and seeing a few of the boys again will be brilliant,” he says.

“We were such a close group – a lot of the time in football, if you went for a night out you might have four or five out but I remember going to London and there were probably 14 of us!

“We still keep in touch, even though we have gone our separate ways we don’t think any less of each other and it’s always great to catch up.

“What happens naturally is that you start reminiscing, talking about games that you played in, experiences that you shared.

“And in our case, when you have something memorable that you achieved together, you will always have that, it never goes away.

“That play-off final was such a special moment, in the history of the club, not just for us.

“I’ve been back a few times since, and it’s nice just to remember what it was like.

“Even just driving around, past the Mount Hotel which I remember, around Tettenhall or towards Telford where I loved for a time.

“It’s just nice to come back, chat to fans, and remember those days again, from such a special time.”

The play-off final is certainly a day which will forever be etched in Wolves’ history, and one which fans will never tire of hearing about and re-living.

The same probably goes for Miller and all of those involved.

But, as he is re-united with the class of 2003, and the protagonists look back to one of the best days of their careers, the former Scottish striker will not be taking an eye off the future and his next burning footballing ambition.

This is a Miller’s tale which still has plenty of chapters ahead.