He spent the lion’s share of his football career playing in the English top flight, represented England at senior level 19 times and is now fairly regular voice on some of the UK’s biggest sports broadcasting channels. What though has that done for Danny Mills’ net worth? Here we look to answer that very question as we put his career under the microscope whilst taking a brief look at other elements around the edges.
So, what is Danny Mills’ net worth?
At the time of writing, Danny Mills’ net worth is believed to be in the region of £3m. A career playing football has obviously contributed large amounts of that wealth but not all of it; there is much more to Mills’ than what immediately meets the eye.
Mills was born in the city of Norwich back in May 1977 and spent him formative years in the region. He went to high school in Sprowston, an area just 2.5 miles outside of the very heart of the city. It was also just 3.1 miles from Carrow Road; very broadly that was a 10 minute drive. That would prove useful for a teenage Mills with the youngster forming part of the Norwich ‘School of Excellence’; rave reviews were not in short supply for Mills; his presence around the England schoolboys camp was another sign of his development going in the right direction.
By the time May 1993 rolled around, with Mills now 16-years-old, he put pen to paper on a youth contract at Carrow Road; that was a big achievement given Norwich were arguably having their best ever season at the time; the Canaries eventually finished that campaign third in the top flight. Despite that strong first team showing, Mills’ wages at that time would have done very little to contribute to the net worth he holds today.
Breaking through at Norwich
We’ve already touched on Mills making a name for himself in the youth set up and under 18 England caps quickly came his way. A Norwich first team call took a fraction longer. However, with the first team showing considerable decline from that third placed finish in 1992/93 it would soon arrive. In November 1994, Mills was on the bench against Everton but a top flight debut never came his way. That season culminated in a relegation disaster for Norwich. In the second tier, Mills would get his chance under Gary Megson albeit with him having to fit in where needed across the backline; the 18-year-old played in every position across the backline that year.
Over the next two seasons, Mills remained a regular in and around the first team picture racking up a total haul of 73 appearances; all bar seven of them came in the league whilst his solitary goal for Norwich came in the cup competitions. Norwich were not looking remotely good value to get back to the Premier League though. In fact, with so much as a top half finish proving beyond them since their relegation. Mills’ stock though was going up and up and up.
Into the big time
A taste of the Premier League with Charlton, Leeds and Boro
Mills’ stock was high right now with his versatility across the defence particularly impressive given his relatively minor experience. It earned him a £350k move to Charlton Athletic; at the time – around March 1998 – the Addicks were fighting for a top six spot in Division One. Mills went in and helped them achieve that – and more; they won promotion to the big time.
Their stay in the Premier League only lasted the one year but Mills had excelled playing in the right back role; not only did that see him earn recognition at international level but it saw Leeds United, who had just finished fourth for a UEFA Cup spot, splash out a whopping £4m on his signature; that’s over 10 times what he’d joined Charlton for just 15 months earlier. It can be cited as the first move that propelled Danny Mills’ net worth to what it is today too; rough calculations put his initial Leeds salary between £7 and £9k per week.
The Elland Road faithful certainly weren’t disappointed with what they saw from Mills. His time with Leeds, however, saw somewhat of a rollercoaster unfold. The highlight was his part in helping them to a Champions League semi-final – where they lost out to Valencia 3-0 on aggregate after a goalless first leg. There was a couple of low points too though. A rather muddied year for Mills arrived in 2003/04. On a personal level he enjoyed great success out on loan with Middlesbrough; on Teeside he lifted the only honour of his career in the shape of the League Cup. For his parent club though it was a travesty; they were relegated and incapable of affording players such as Mills.
Moving to Man City
Leeds and Mills parting ways wasn’t exactly what either party wanted; both were forced into the situation owing to a disastrous financial situation that loomed over Leeds; Mills’ contract, which was around £35k per week at this time was just too much for Leeds. Manchester City were the beneficiaries. Sure, they had to pay Mills a reasonable whack but a) Leeds were subsidising them under the terms of their contract agreement with Mills and b) City didn’t pay a transfer fee. Life in Manchester started pretty well for Mills. His place at right back almost a given for large chunks of time; that was particularly true under the attack minded Kevin Keegan.
When Stuart Pearce, who features in our list of the hardest footballers of all time, came into the Man City hot seat, Mills found himself in and out a bit more; injuries were not helping his cause. Unfortunately for Mills, as his injury problems worsened there was a young defender by the name of Micah Richards coming through the City ranks. Eventually, Richards was preferred as the main right back; Mills was forced to go out on loan to get his football. Short spells with Hull, his former club Charlton and Derby saw out his career. Mills officially announced he was calling it a day at the age of just 32; the injuries had become too much.
An England career to be proud of
You won’t find Danny Mills mentioned when talking about the best right backs of all time but when he was at his peak – in his time with Leeds – he was certainly up there with the best England had to offer at the time. Gary Neville was England’s first choice but Mills was offered his debut from the bench in May 2001. Then 10 months later came his first start; that start came in a big qualifier too so it was far from handing out caps for the sake of it.
His performances for the Three Lions were decent. In fact, they were so good that he earned a spot on the plane to the 2002 World Cup in Japan and Korea and, a little forgotten fact, Mills actually played in every single one of England’s games at that tournament with Neville ruled out through injury. The last of Mills’ international caps came in 2004 leaving him on the highly respectable tally of 19.
Tragedy & Charity
You can look at Danny Mills’ net worth and label him as someone that has made his money through football if you want but dig beneath what is a fairly tough exterior and you’ll find a man that has been through one of the worst things imaginable and now channels that heartache for good.
Mills and his wife, Lisa, already had two children – a three-year-old boy called George, who is now an athletics star, and an 18-month-old daughter named Mya, but were expecting a third to join their family. At a little over four months into the pregnancy, they were advised that the child would not survive but that it was too late for termination meaning the remainder of the pregnancy and birth would need to go ahead.
Off the back of that tragedy though, Mills has been active in the world of charity work. He is an ambassador Shine, a charity that specialises in the area of Spina Bifida whilst numerous other charity activities have been undertaken too. In addition to George, Mya and his lost child, Mills also has two other sons – Spike and Stanley; the latter is part of the Everton youth system.
Life after football
Aside from his dedication to charity work, Danny Mills’ net worth has bee further boosted since hanging up with boots through various different means. The most obvious avenue he’s explored is the world of football punditry. He has featured on the likes of Talksport, SkySports, where he regularly features, but his voice is perhaps best known for radio work with Mills a ‘go to’ man for Five Live. Beyond football, Mills has also featured on our TV sets on Masterchef; he showed off his culinary skills to come second in that show.
There you have it, your answer to Danny Mills’ net worth – a cool £3m.