Interview with Danny Mills: PEDs, Painkilling Injections & Play-off Finals
Updated: Jan 21, 2019
Today we are joined by ex-England international, Danny Mills.
In his 14 year career Mills played for 7 different clubs but he is most famous for being the right back on those great Leeds teams of the early 2000s. Following his retirement in 2008 due to injuries, he has become a successful businessman and investor.
In this episode he'll discuss playing with those Leeds teams in Champions League semi-finals, the penalty that changed his career, playing in the 2002 World Cup including the quarter final against Brazil and then finally PEDs and painkilling injections in football.
Danny is talking on behalf of The Coaching Manual, an online resource for football coaches around the world, where you can watch training sessions or create your own with their new session builder at www.thecoachingmanual.com
5:45 Comparing triathlons to football matches
13:04 "Getting lost" in the 1998 Playoff-final
22:52 Reflecting on his "dream move" to Leeds
34:20 Getting into the 2002 World Cup squad
42:37 PEDs in football
48:57 Painkilling injections in football
"I always say to Micky [Gray] you made my career. That one spot kick- it's a sliding doors moment."
"I always tell people I was a much better runner than I was a player. Preseason I was worth £25-30 million. As soon as the balls came out that dropped to half a million."
"They [Leeds] were in the top 4, they were playing European football. A season and a half earlier I was struggling to get into the Norwich City reserves."
"I was in a bar at that time, and it came up on Sky News, 'Gary Neville has broken his foot' and I was like 'Get in!'"
"I just look at them and said, 'right, this is me versus Roberto Carlos'. That is my job."
"You'll do anything to gain an advantage within what is legal. We were taking pills in the World Cup, up to 20 a day and didn't really know what they were. They were given to us by the doctor, by England. They're legal, but you don't ask too many questions."
"There are lots of gray areas in sport. I had painkilling injections so I could play. Where do you draw the line on what is legal and what isn't? If I didn't have that injection I wouldn't be able to play. So therefore it is performance enhancing in some ways…"
"No you didn't think about long-term issues. I look at it now and both my knees have huge amounts of arthritis, two slipped discs in my back, which is ultimately down to maybe playing when I shouldn't have, playing through injuries, playing with painkillers…And it's a choice, and you wanted to do it."
"And being told by my youth team manager, you've got to be disciplined and work harder than everybody else and if you do that you'll have half a chance…"
"If you're a successful person you're always looking towards the next level. How can I improve, how can I get better."