Ian Wright hailed Alan Miller as a “great man” as he paid a heartfelt tribute to his former Arsenal teammate following his tragic death at the age of 51.
Miller joined the Gunners as a teenager in 1984 and made his senior debut eight years later, featuring a handful more times before joining Middlesbrough for £500,000 in 1994.
The goalkeeper and Wright were on Arsenal’s books together for three years, winning the FA Cup-League Cup double in 1993 and the Cup Winners’ Cup the following season.
Wright fondly recalled how Miller would make himself available for extra training as he honoured his old Highbury colleague.
“Gonna miss you Maxi,” wrote Wright on Twitter. “A great man. Such an important part of a special time at the club.
“Never once turned down any of the strikers for extra shooting practice no matter how hard you had been training in any kind of weather.
“Always put the team first. Rest in peace my friend.”
Arsenal confirmed the sad news of the former shot-stopper’s passing with a statement on their website which reads: “It is with great sadness that we have learned of the death of our former player, Alan Miller, at the age of 51.
“The 6ft 3in goalkeeper joined us as a schoolboy in 1984, and went on to sign professional terms four years later after winning the 1988 FA Youth Cup.
“Alan became the first Arsenal goalkeeper ever to come on as a substitute when he made his first-team debut against Leeds in November 1992.
“He went on to make five more first-team appearances during his time with us, and was part of the squad that won the FA Cup and League Cup double in 1993 and the European Cup Winners’ Cup 12 months later.
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“Alan – an England Under-21 international – left north London in August 1994 to sign for Middlesbrough, and later had spells with a range of clubs including West Bromwich Albion before retiring with a back problem in 2003.
“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.
“Rest in peace, Alan.”
Miller added a First Division winners’ medal to his cabinet after Middlesbrough’s success in the 1994/95 season, while he also won the League Cup with Blackburn Rovers in 2002.
Former Middlesbrough defender Nigel Pearson was one of many others to pay emotional tributes to Miller on social media.
“Learned late last night about the desperately sad news of Alan Miller’s death,” wrote Pearson
“We had some great fun together at Boro on and off the pitch, and Big Al was loved so much by us all.
“He was kind and gentle to our children Hannah and James, they simply adored him…”