An interesting career was served by winger Les Miller, who at one time ended up playing a long way from his Essex roots.
Born in Barking, he won an England Schoolboy cap (v Wales at Swansea in 1925) and first played for the local team, before attracting interest from Northampton Town, who were at the time managed by Jack Tresadern. However, Miller could not agree terms with the club and played as an amateur before returning to Barking to resume his career there.
It could quite easily have followed that Les would have played away his career at the Essex club, but when French side Sochaux were enquiring about players, Tresadern put Miller's name forward and he moved to the continent to play his football. He was a real success in France, scoring 60 goals for his club in 1935-36. His football wages were supplemented by £15 a week from working in a car factory part-time and he was well-liked by the crowd, who tagged him "Monsieur Leslie".
When Les had enough in France and made it known he wanted to return home, Tresadern made a move for his former transfer target. This time, the manager was at Tottenham and the four figure signing was the first a English league club had made from France.
Miller was a strongly built man, with a footballing brain that helped match the fleet footed nature of his game. He also was able to dribble round defenders, making him a difficult opponent to keep pinned down. His first season saw him generally be first choice, but the emergence of Colin Lyman gave him competition thereafter. During his time in the reserves, he scored 20 goals in 47 appearances in the London Combination, representing the league in an annual fixture against a Belgian select side (Les Diables Rouges) in February 1939.
Frustrated by the lack of a regular start, Miller moved on to Chesterfield, but the declaration of World War II came at a time when he played for the Spireites and then a few war-time games for Mansfield Town, before calling it a day after suffering with cartilage problems.
Worked as a precision grinder after leaving football.
Les Miller died in Braintree, Essex on 1st October 1959.