Australian Football

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Key Facts

Full name
James Henry Miller

Known as
Jim Miller

Born
30 May 1919

Place of birth
Footscray, VIC (3011)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 18y 335d
Last game: 28y 330d

Height and weight
Height: 169 cm
Weight: 67 kg

Senior clubs
Footscray; Yarraville

Jumper numbers
Footscray: 32, 19, 14, 33

Recruited from
Footscray (1948)

State of origin
VIC

Jim Miller

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
FootscrayV/AFL1938-1941, 1943-1948131270.2154%17.004.6716
YarravilleVFA1948-194921411.95
Total1938-1941, 1943-1949152680.45

Pre 1965 stats are for selected matches only

AFL: 4,580th player to appear, 1,628th most games played, 3,096th most goals kickedFootscray: 240th player to appear, 82nd most games played, 211th most goals kicked

The clichéd headline "Local boy makes good" could have been written specifically for Jim Miller, a born and bred Bulldog who turned out for Footscray in 131 games between 1938 and 1948.

Miller was born in Footscray, and cut his footy teeth at North Footscray in the Footscray District League. He won the League's best and fairest medal in 1936 before being snapped up by the Bulldogs prior to the 1938 season. The FDL was a fertile Bulldogs breeding ground in the 1930s, producing players such as Joe Ryan, Harry Hickey and Bob Spargo Senior who, along with Miller were all part of the first Footscray team to play in a VFL final in 1938, Miller's first season at the highest level.

The Dogs fell short in that semi final but Miller, a rover, and his locally recruited teammates formed part of a core of players that helped Footscray qualify for finals again in 1942, 1944 and 1946, making the Bulldogs the most successful to date of the three sides (the others Hawthorn and North Melbourne) that had joined the VFL in 1925.

Miller gave the Dogs fine service over 11 years, and his games total of 131 would have been significantly higher if not for the disruption of war. Miller served in both the Army and the RAAF during World War II, and played several games for South Sydney while posted to NSW as part of his miltary service.

Jim Miller's final season as a player was as captain-coach of Yarraville in the VFA in 1949, with a leg injury prevented him from saddling up again in 1950.

Having earned life membership of the Footscray Football Club in 1947, Miller continued to be a great servant of the Bulldogs, firstly as a committee member from 1957, and then as President from 1963 to 1966. He was club Vice President when the Bulldogs made their second Grand Final appearance in 1961.

Author - Andrew Gigacz

Sources

Western Bulldogs, The Argus, The Age

Footnotes

* Behinds calculated from the 1965 season on.
+ Score at the end of extra time.