From: Glasgow Rangers - £350,000 - September 1999
Record: Played: 11(6) Scored: 0
To: Dundee United - free transfer - November 2000
Career stats: Soccerbase
He was: Big boned
It started to become a regular feature of Tuesday night home games. At a quiet moment, a lone voice would begin
wailing "OH, CHARLIE MILLER..." to a funereal imitation of the tune for "Flower Of Scotland". It was so distant
and forlorn that it could've been Charlie himself, stumbling down Occupation Road on the way back from the pub
and reminding himself of past glories by kicking a Coke can at one of the garage doors. Somehow, it perfectly
captured his brief Watford career.
A player of immense talent and equally immense girth, Charlie Miller arrived from Rangers with promises of sobriety,
weight loss and first team football. Having been one of Scotland's brightest prospects, he desperately needed to
get away from the Glasgow bars that he'd frequented with Gazza, to make a new start and fulfil his potential.
For a while, it all went rather well. The pounds dropped off, interviews were conducted while sipping delicately
from a glass of chilled orange juice, and so on. Charlie Miller had turned into a New Footballer - the kind that not only
wants to train, but is also happy to prepare a light pasta lunch for their partner upon returning home - and we'd found
ourselves a bargain. Even though he was yet to regain full fitness, it was pretty bloody obvious that he was the
kind of player who'd never wear a Watford shirt in normal circumstances.
As it turned out, he didn't wear a Watford shirt very often. Mainly because we couldn't find one to fit. On the
rare occasions that GT let him back into the first team, it was fairly clear from his general physique that the New
Footballer thing hadn't lasted very long. As we all know, GT demands a certain level of dedication from his players. Besides,
as an equally flabby Gascoigne found out while at Middlesbrough, the pace of the Premiership is simply too much for
anyone without a reasonable level of fitness. Perhaps we were in desperate need of his skills...but we couldn't afford
to wait for him to apply them.
When he returned, fresh from the pub, ready for the start of the next season, it seemed that everyone was ahead of
him in the queue. Micah Hyde, Allan Nielsen, Steve Palmer, Clint Easton, David Perpetuini, Michael Parkinson, Thora
Hird, Frank Butcher, everyone. Every week, another woeful interview would appear in the press, talking of his dreams of holding
down a first team place at the heart of our midfield. But you'd have to be a complete cretin to drop Micah Hyde or
Allan Nielsen in favour of Charlie Miller - double the weight, half the speed, and, in all honesty, no more talented.
So, although the ritualistic wailing of his name on Tuesday nights continued, he'd long since gone. First to the Reserves,
then to Wigan for a trial, then finally back to Scotland forever.
Anyone remember Dai Thomas?