Day of Remembrance for Latics fans
By Paul Farrington
Updated Wednesday, 21st September 2005
Unfortunately today marks the tenth anniversary of Michael Millett's tragic death, just a day before his 18th birthday. The young midfielder was without doubt destined to be the brightest prospect to graduate from the Wigan youth system.
Sadly ten years ago today Michael was killed in a horrific car accident whilst travelling home from a Wigan Athletic training session. The training session had taken place at the Almond Brook Hotel in Standish.
The starlet’s car was heading south towards Leyland Green at around 13.30 before ploughing into a tree on Winstanley Road at Garswood.
Graham Barrow was the man in charge of the Latics at the time and he said: “It was just devastating. I gave the players the afternoon off and I then got a call at teatime to tell me that Michael had been killed outright.
“Michael was a real talent and as far as football goes it was not a case of if he’d make it, but when. I could tell from my very early days at the club that he was going to be a very good player.”
Former team-mate and fans’ favourite Roberto Martinez was also upset by the tragedy. Matinez commented: “I remember I got into training and Graham Barrow was crying. He said training was cancelled and told everyone of the devastating news of what had happened to Michael and we all broke down in tears.
“As soon as I saw Michael play I could see what a fantastic prospect he was. He was just about to become a regular in our first team. He was someone you would describe as a complete midfield player and he would have gone all the way to the top.
“He was a very quiet lad, but he had the right attitude and a great future ahead of him.”
The Latics observed a minutes silence ahead of a 1-0 defeat to Plymouth Argyle at Springfield Park, just two days after Michael’s death.
Tributes to Michael Millett from 1995.
“Michael was someone who had everything going for him.” Brenda Spencer
“Thank you Michael for the privilege of working with you for eight wonderful years. It’s the manner in which he went about his business which is impossible to replace.” David Crompton.
“It goes beyond football and puts everything into perspective.” Neill Rimmer.
“Michael was real quality I everything he did.” Alex Cribley.
From the Wigan Observer – By Matt Swindells.
Michael Paul Millett was born in Wigan on Thursday September 22 1977 and lived with his mum and dad Elaine and Ronnie in Billinge Road North, Ashton.
The former Byrchall High School pupil came through Wigan Athletic’s School of Excellence before he became a Youth Trainee, captaining the U14’s and U15’s sides.
Michael quickly attracted the attention of the Eng;and selectors and played for their U16’s side in the 1994 European Championships.
He made his international debut in February 1995 against Denmark and became a regular in the England setup.
Described as a player who could run all day, score and create goals, Michael signed professional on his 17th birthday.
He made his Latics league debut as a substitute for Dave McKearney on April 22, 1995 against Walsall at the Bescot Stadium in a game that the Latics lost 2-0.
He started the next game, but was on the losing side again as Wigan lot 1-0 at Rochdale.
Michael was on the bench for the final game of the season, he replaced Tony Black in a 3-2 defeat of Doncaster Rovers.
He made one first team appearance in the 1995/96 season when he came off the bench in a League Cup tie against Chester City.