HE may be about to reach 500 appearances but it doesn’t signal the end of Tommy Miller’s career.
The Shotton Colliery-born veteran, now 35, is set to cross the white line in a league encounter for the 500th time when his current and eighth team, Bury, next play.
The Shakers, 22nd in League Two, are scheduled to entertain Wycombe tomorrow but it looks likely to be postponed meaning the former Hartlepool United prodigy will have to wait a little longer.
Miller, however, is not foreseeing reaching the milestone as the termination of his playing days
“I’m out of contract in the summer but I still want to play,” he told SportMail.
“Whether that’s at Bury we’ll see, I’d gladly stay there.
“It’s always been a case of as long as if I’m enjoying my football I’m happy and I am at the moment.
“It never really entered my head how my years I’d play.
“I just wanted to play football and see where it took me.
“There are no immediate plans to go into coaching just yet, not while I’m still hungry to be playing.”
Precisely, he has no reasons to hang up his boots when he counts on luck in even making it as professional footballer.
Stretching the length of his playing days is all that matters right now.
“I was fortunate to get into Pools,” he reflected.
“I didn’t make it as a schoolboy at Ipswich and I was all set to go to college when Brian Horner and Billy Horner rang me up and asked me to go and train.
“They applied for another YTS which thankfully they were granted and it went from there.”
He went on: “A lot of people have influenced me along the way.
“Chris Turner pushed me further forward, he saw that side of the game in me, and that’s when the goals started coming.
“My dad [Tommy Snr] has been fantastic as well.
“I’ve played under some great managers and learned a lot from them.”
For the few what ifs and maybes which act as the nadirs to the midfielder’s career, there is the fan adulation, a prolific penalty record and European performances which have culminated in a fruitful playing record.
Quizzed on his proudest moment, he said: “Promotion with Huddersfield,”
“It was at Wembley and of course a play-off final win at Wembley is so special.
“I came close with Ipswich and Pools through the play-offs but Huddersfield is my only promotion.
“You can never have regrets.
“Sunderland didn’t go as well as planned but it was hard for everyone that season.
“But as a young lad I scored for Sunderland in the Premier League and played in Europe.
“Yeah it would have been nice to stay at that level for longer but I’ve still got those achievements to my name.”