Ian McMillan (footballer)

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Ian McMillan
Personal information
Full nameJohn Livingstone McMillan [1]
Date of birth (1931-03-18) 18 March 1931 (age 89)
Place of birth Airdrie, Scotland
Playing position(s) Inside-forward
Senior career*
1948–1958 Airdrieonians 249 (102)
1958–1964 Rangers 127 (36)
1964–1966 Airdrieonians 52 (17)
National team
1952–1961 Scotland 6 (2)
1952–1954 [2] Scottish League XI 2 (0)
1953 [3] Scotland B 1 (1)
1955 [4] Scotland A vs B trial 1 (0)
Teams managed
1970–1976 Airdrieonians
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

John Livingstone "Ian" McMillan (born 18 March 1931) is a Scottish former footballer who played for Airdrieonians, Rangers and the Scotland national team.


Playing career

McMillan was born in Airdrie. Nicknamed "The Wee Prime Minister" (he shared a variant of his surname with the incumbent of the era), [5] [6] [7] he started his career with local club Airdrieonians in 1948 where he would go on to become a club legend. [8] He scored 102 goals in 249 league appearances over ten years for the club [9] in this spell, in the role of scheming inside-forward (a creative midfield position in today's football parlance). [7]

McMillan was at Rangers from 1958 until 1964, making 127 league appearances [9] and 200 in all competitions, including the 1961 European Cup Winners' Cup Final. The Gers lost out in that tie to Fiorentina, [10] but his spell was otherwise very successful, [7] featuring four Scottish League titles (1958–59, 1960–61, 1962–63 and 1963–64), three Scottish Cup winner's medals (1960, 1962 and 1963), and two from the Scottish League Cup (1960 and 1961). [11] Despite his prominent role at a major club, he also continued to work in his other profession as a quantity surveyor as he had done as a part-time player. [7]

He returned to Airdrieonians in 1964 [9] where he would remain for a further two years, though affected by injuries. [8]


He was capped six times by the Scotland national team between 1952 and 1961, scoring twice – both against the United States in April 1952. McMillan was in Scotland's 22-man 1954 World Cup squad, but the SFA decided to take only 13 of the group to the finals, with McMillan staying at home on reserve with the likes of Bobby Combe and Jimmy Binning (inside forward George Hamilton was also on reserve, but travelled after Bobby Johnstone withdrew through injury).

After playing

McMillan later managed Airdrieonians between 1970 and 1976, taking them to 1975 Scottish Cup Final. [8] [12] He is currently Honorary president of the current Airdrieonians, [6] a club that was formed as 'Airdrie United' after the original Airdrieonians went out of business in 2002.

He is the grandfather of modern-day player, Iain Russell.

Career statistics

International appearances

As of 4 March 2019 [13] [1]
International statistics
National teamYearAppsGoals
Scotland 195232

International goals

International goals by date, venue, cap, opponent, score, result and competition
130 April 1952 Hampden Park, Glasgow 2Flag of the United States.svg  United States 3–06–0 Friendly match [13] [1]
26–0 [13] [1]


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  1. 1 2 3 4 Brown, Alan; Tossani, Gabriele (11 April 2019). "Scotland - International Matches 1951-1955". RSSSF. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  2. (SFL player) Ian McMillan, London Hearts Supporters Club
  3. (Scotland B player) McMillan, Ian, FitbaStats
  4. Easter Road game should not have been played, Glasgow Herald (page 4), 22 February 1955
  5. "Diamonds and deadlines". BBC Sport. 19 February 2001. Retrieved 29 September 2007.
  6. 1 2 "Airdrieonians Board". www.airdriefc.com . Retrieved 12 June 2013.
  7. 1 2 3 4 Hall of Fame | Ian McMillan, Rangers FC
  8. 1 2 3 Greatest XI, Airdrieonians FC
  9. 1 2 3 "IAN McMILLAN". www.neilbrown.newcastlefans.com. Retrieved 29 September 2007.
  10. Murray, Keir (22 April 2008). "When Rangers met Fiorentina in '61". BBC Sport. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  11. (Rangers player) McMillan, Ian, FitbaStats
  12. "Managers 1969 -1976". www.thefootballnetwork.net. Retrieved 29 September 2007.
  13. 1 2 3 Ian McMillan at the Scottish Football Association
  14. "Roy Aitken inducted into Scottish Hall of Fame". BT Sport. 21 October 2018. Retrieved 22 October 2018.