Jim Mills truly was a ‘Rugby Giant’. At six foot four inches tall and a playing weight of 18 stone, he made a huge impact as a fast-running, ball-handling prop forward. He was also one of the toughest forwards in professional rugby league at a time when every team had an ‘enforcer’ and contested scrums saw forwards often literally fighting for the ball.
Jim won every honour in the game in a 17 year rugby league career. He played in three Wembley Challenge Cup Finals for Widnes, winning two of them; and 11 other finals for a team that was justifiably known as the ‘Cup Kings’. He won six caps for Great Britain, including touring Australia in 1974 and 1979 – and was selected for two other tours – and played in the 1978 ‘Dad’s Army’ test at Odsal, when Great Britain beat the Australians 18–14. He won 17 caps for Wales, including playing in the 1975 World Championship ‘Battle of Brisbane’ when they beat England.
But he was sent off 20 times in an often controversial career. This authorised biography, based on extensive interviews with Jim, gives a full and frank account of one of rugby league’s great characters of the 1960s and 1970s. It includes his time at Halifax, Salford, Bradford Northern, Workington and North Sydney as well as his successes with Widnes.
It also covers his rugby union career in South Wales with Cardiff and the Welsh Youth team, and his time running nightclubs in Widnes.
With a foreword by Doug Laughton, and contributions from former referee Billy Thompson and people who played with and against Jim, including David Watkins, Mike Nicholas, Frank Myler and Kel Coslett; and tributes from Billy Boston and Cardiff RFC chairman Peter Thomas, every rugby league fan will enjoy this book.
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