AustralianFootball.com Celebrating the history of the great Australian game
9 August 1965
7 October 1991 (aged 26)
Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 18y 361d
Last game: 26y 22d
Height and weight
Height: 188 cm
Weight: 89 kg
|Club||League||Career span||Games||Goals||Avg||Win %||AKI||AHB||AMK||BV|
AFL: 9,550th player to appear, 1,340th most games played, 1,391st most goals kickedCollingwood: 859th player to appear, 103rd most games played, 112th most goals kicked
Strongly built, aggressive and boasting considerable pace, Darren Millane was a wingman par excellence. He commenced his senior career with Dandenong in the VFA where his fine displays attracted the attention of several VFL clubs, including Sydney, St Kilda and Hawthorn. In the end it was the Hawks who seemingly won the race to sign him, and he was invited to train with the team at their Glenferrie headquarters. However, Millane did not like the atmosphere at the club and opted to return to Dandenong.
Collingwood offered him a second chance to break into league ranks and, finding the atmosphere at Victoria Park more congenial than at Hawthorn, he seized the opportunity eagerly. He made his senior VFL debut in 1984, aged 19, and went on to establish himself as a key member of a slowly improving Magpies combination. In 1987 he won the Copeland trophy as Collingwood’s best and fairest player while three years later the AFL Players Association conferred on him its MVP award. That same 1990 season saw Millane play a major part in his club’s march to the premiership, its first since 1958. Millane was outstanding throughout the Magpies’ finals campaign, in spite of the fact that he had to play every match with pain killers administered to a broken thumb.
Just over a year later, with every possibility that the peak years of his career still lay ahead, Darren Millane was killed in a car crash whilst intoxicated. He was barely 26 years old, but had already done enough over the course of his brief career to earn inclusion in Collingwood’s official ‘Team of the Century’.
Author - John Devaney