Ian Hillier was a young defender who has risen through the ranks at White Hart Lane. Originally came to the club in 1996 and turned professional two years later, but who could not break into the first XI.
Started out in midfield, but has found a niche at right back or in the centre of defence, where Ian served the reserves for the best part of two seasons (1999-2001) and took the captain's armband towards the end of the latter. Hillier was an uncompromising tackler and read the game well, which allowed him to go forward where he could finish well. A popular member of the squad, Hillier was known as "Boyo" amongst his team-mates.
With Luke Young having moved on, he was hoping to be promoted in the pecking order to replace Stephen Carr, should he be unavailable. However, Ian went on loan in August 2001 to Luton Town for a month, before joining them for £30,000 on a two year deal.
His loan period at Kenilworth Road was impressive, with a cracking goal against York City winning the game for the Hatters, after he had been employed as a forward when coming on as a substitute. Played through until January, when manager Kinnear brought in a coupe of experienced defenders to shore up the back four, thus relegating Hillier to the bench. Ian was playing regularly in the reserves though, making it difficult the following season (2002-03), when he was in and out of the first team. Hillier's all action-style was popular with the crowd and he was noted for his long throws, which caused havoc in opposition penalty areas.
2003-04 saw Ian suffer from suspension after being sent off at Peterborough United, injury and falling out of favour with manager Mike Newell, something that carried over into the following campaign. This lead to him being allowed to go on loan to Chester City from December 2004 to February 2005, although a deal could not be agreed with the club, so he eventually left to move permanently to Newport County in 2005 when he was released on expiry of his contract.
His form was still good there, being made club captain, winning Supporter's Club and Player's Player awards and he was selected to play for the Wales non-professional representative team in 2007.
Unfortunately, Ian suffered a broken leg in a work accident in his job as a tree surgeon. This lead to Newport cancelling his contract, as he was incapable of fulfilling his contract, but an appeal by Hillier was successful and although his club were thinking of taking the case further through the legal system, they withdrew and offered him a new deal. The defender accepted the offer, but did not play for Newport again.
In April 2009, Ian moved to League of Wales club Neath Athletic, but when they went into liquidation, Ian joined Carmarthen Town in June 2012.