Sandiacre man was club stalwart

Ian Mills, 61, lifelong Notts County fan from Sandiacre. Had fatal heart attack after watching team on Tues Jan 24.
Ian Mills, 61, lifelong Notts County fan from Sandiacre. Had fatal heart attack after watching team on Tues Jan 24.
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Tributes have been paid to a Sandiacre man who was a lifelong Notts County fan and statistician.

Ian Mills, who died last week, had missed just one Magpies match since 1970 – and attended all games since 1981.

The 61-year-old died after last Tuesday’s match against Preston, following a heart attack.

On match days he worked as the club statistician and carried out jobs including fitting lights in two new trophy cabinets.

News of his death came as a shock to his fellow fans, who said he seemed happy and healthy and, as always, was looking forward to watching Notts County play when they last saw him.

Malcolm Shearstone, 56, transport secretary for Notts County Supporters’ Club, has known Mr Mills for more than 30 years.

“I’m still in shock,” he said. “He was passionate about his football. In a way he died in the best possible way – one of the last things he did was watch his beloved Notts play and I’m sure he would have liked that.”

During his time supporting the Magpies, Mr Mills had seen his club win two league titles, four promotions, play in the top-flight of English Football and lift the Anglo-Italian Cup, but he had also endured six relegations and saw the club slip into administration.

Mr Mills, who worked as an electrician, sold programmes at the club’s home games and was chairman of the Notts County Supporters Club around 15 years ago.

A highlight of Mr Mills’ lifelong devotion to Notts County was being one of 300 fans who travelled to Turin to watch the game against Italian giants Juventus.

Notts County chairman Ray Trew said: “I have met an incredible number of people during my time here at Notts County, but very few stand out in the way that Ian Mills did.

“In terms of pure commitment and dedication to the club, you would be hard pressed to find a better example.”