Paul Miller is a player who typified the type of which was needed to win things amongst the more traditional flair Spurs players. It was his defending, alongside Graham Roberts which gave the side a tough centre and he also managed to get forward at set-pieces to put his height to good effect, such as his goal in the first leg of the 1984 UEFA Cup Final first leg.
A player who was a good schools player, attending Morpeth Secondary School in Bethnal Green, making appearances for East London, London and Middlesex Schools representative sides and he was spotted by Spurs, who signed him as an apprentice in April 1976 before giving him a professional contract just a year later. Paul played regularly in 1976-77 senior youth team and made three reserve appearances. A season (1978-79) in Norway playing for Skeid Oslo gave him first team experience and he was highly regarded during his time there.
A young man who came through the Spurs youth ranks, Paul Miller built his reputation as a defender not to be trifled with, as he won the majority of aerial challenges and crunching tackles with a determination to make sure "they shall not pass". But there was more to his game than just a crash and bash centre half. His distribution from the back could be delicate, with his right foot acting like a golf wedge, picking out his forwards with long range accuracy. After a loan spell in Norway, he was brought into the team, but made infrequent appearances. But Miller was Tottenham through and through and even married the daughter of Spurs super fan Morris Keston.
Maxie Miller was a fixture in the middle of defence in the 1980s and his solid tackling and determination to win the ball in the air were notable facets of the Tottenham success in those years. And successful it was with FA Cup wins and a UEFA Cup victory, as Spurs reinforced their reputation as a top cup team and also managed to find some consistency to get some real challenges at the top of the First Division. When he came into the Spurs team on a regular basis in the 1980-81 season, he struck up an immediate partnership with Graham Roberts, who had been recently signed from Weymouth. They became the tough heart of the Tottenham side of the early Eighties and the success the club had was probably based on the fact that opposition players were faced with the twin tasks of getting past Miller and Roberts. His partnership with Graham Roberts was awesome and they were as hard as nails and harder than a brick wall to break through for many opposing forwards. Uncompromising and raw are words that have been associated with Miller, but his play was not always “rustic”. His right foot would be employed as a wedge to loft the ball forward to Archibald or Crooks and the accuracy of his passing was often lost in the concentration on the crunching tackles he put in. And he was always happy to go up for corners or free-kicks, with the sort of service that Hoddle and Ardiles served up. Making the ball his main priority, as always, he would make sure he got to the cross and his headers were powerful and often found the net, as he did in the first leg of the 1984 UEFA Cup final against Anderlecht.
In many games, Miller's last gasp tackles using a leg stretching to dispossess a forward about to shoot came to Tottenham's rescue and his fine games in the FA and UEFA Cup finals of the period of success for Spurs were testament to his ability. Never the most graceful of defenders, his style did not attract England attention, but he was savvy enough to know that his place would be under threat at Tottenham from new signings and players coming through the reserves, who could play a bit as well as defend. However, his basics were always to the fore and to stop players scoring was his major aim, thus he kept his place in the side until the arrival of David Pleat, who bought Richard Gough from Dundee United to be his captain and the writing was on the wall for Maxie.
He moved on to play for Charlton Athletic in 1987 to help them in their perennial battle against relegation, before having a couple of years at Watford, followed by short spells at Bournemouth, Brentford on loan and the Swansea City, where he retired from playing in March 1991. Miller took on the job as manager of Wingate Finchley youth team manager for a while, but became a financial consultant in the City of London as a profession after leaving football and is also involved in property development.
Still a regular face at White Hart Lane, he has been a fan of the club for many years.