A TRIBUTE has been paid to the Cowdenbeath player who was broken-hearted to leave the club for Dunfermline Athletic.

John (Jock) Miller sadly passed away on November 3, and the club has wished his friends and family "sincere condolences" having heard of the loss.

Miller enjoyed a playing career that would see him start opposite a young Sir Bobby Charlton, attract the interest of English giants Liverpool and develop a lasting devotion to Cowdenbeath Football Club.

Born in Pretoria Place, Cowdenbeath, his early football was played with Kirkford Boys Club - who were run by Willie Miller.

Davie Baillie, who was involved with the Boys Club movement at Area Level, then got Miller a trial for the Scottish Boys Club side.

He was selected to represent Scotland in Boys Club internationals and played against England at Peterborough, when Bobby Charlton was in the England side.

He then represented Scotland in match against Wales at Cowdenbeath's Central Park.

Miller also played for Foulford and Beath High Schools and then for Cowdenbeath Royals, as well as Crossgates Primrose.

He made his senior debut for Cowdenbeath in 1954 not long past his 17th birthday.

By the end of the 1954/55 season, Miller had scored 16 goals in 27 games for Cowdenbeath and a number of clubs were interested.

Cowdenbeath were badly in need of cash at the time. Clubs such as St Mirren, Hearts and Airdrie were all keen.

John Dougary, a director at the club, was also a scout for Liverpool at the time and he suggested Liverpool were also interested.

Ultimately, it was Bobby Ancell who won the race to sign John for near neighbours Dunfermline Athletic who had just been promoted to Division 1.

A fee of £1,500 was paid and Ancell said that he had never encountered a player with so much club loyalty as Miller showed towards Cowdenbeath.

Considerable persuasion was required before he would join the Pars, the club said.

David Allen, Cowdenbeath club secretary, said: "A year later, at a fans meeting, the subject of the transfer of Miller came up.

"Cowdenbeath chairman Bill Crooks told the assembly that, ‘When John Miller was transferred to Dunfermline it almost broke the laddie’s heart. He wanted to play for Cowden but I told the young lad that he was doing more for the club by agreeing to go than by staying'."

Miller spent three years at East End Park and scored a number of goals for Dunfermline in a stay that was hampered by injury.

He then returned to Cowdenbeath and scored a hat-trick in his comeback game for the club versus Stranraer.

He played in the 1959/60 League Cup semi-final at Easter Road when Cowdenbeath lost to Hearts.

In 1960, he got a new job in Corby and Cowden agreed to his release.

He played in just one match for Corby Town and then played for a season in the Welsh League with Rhyl.

He finished his career in Australia playing with a club named Whyalla Wanderers.

Later he lived in Gagarin Way, Lumphinnans.