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Published on March 20th, 2012 | by Yellow Magpie

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Mick The Miller: The World’s Most Famous Greyhound

He was a dog that took the racing world by storm. He attracted tens of thousands of people to any race he participated in, he was in films and has become the most famous Irish greyhound of all time. Mick The Miller is synonymous with greyhound racing.

Humble Beginnings

Born on the 29th of June, 1926, Mick The Miller would go on to make greyhound history. Bred by a priest called Martin Brophy at Millbrook, Killeigh, in County Offaly, Ireland. Mick The Miller was not the strongest or healthiest pup.

For that reason it was surprising that a man called Michael Greene was adamant that the dog was to be trained. Perhaps this was due to the fact that Mick The Miller was a descendant of the legendary Master McGrath. This would turn out to be a very prudent decision by Greene. Up until 1929 Mick The Miller was trained in Killeigh.

Michael Greene and Fr. Martin Brophy With Mick The Miller

When the dog was fit for greyhound racing, Mick Horan, a certified trainer was employed by Fr. Brophy. Horan’s knowledge of stadium racing, having worked at the new Shelbourne Park, County Dublin, undoubtedly added value to Mick The Miller’s development.

The Birth Of A Star

After being sold by Fr. Brophy to bookmaker Albert Williams of Wimbledon, England, in July, 1929, he was in turn purchased by Arundel Kempton in December 1929. It was with Kempton and in England that Mick The Miller would become internationally famous and break all greyhound records.

Mick the Miller’s short three-year racing career produced unrivalled results. Chief amongst his great achievements was winning 19 races on the trot, two English Greyhound Derby titles in-a-row and breaking several world records.

Mick The Miller In Racing Garb

Upon hearing of his first English Derby success in 1929, the residents of Killeigh celebrated by lighting a bonfire in his honour.
Mick The Miller would go on to win his second English Derby in front of a crowd of 50,000 people.

Injuries to his shoulder and dewclaw meant that the latter half of 1930 was not as success-laden as the previous year. The 1931 English Greyhound Derby was to prove highly unfortunate for the plucky little greyhound. Despite winning the race, the original contest was declared a ‘no race’.

An exhausted Mick The Miller failed to make an impression in the re-run race. The winner a dog called Seldom Lad took the title and was given the trophy to a chorus of boos from the crowd.

Mick The Miller After Winning His Second Darby

The Legacy Of Mick The Miller

Mick The Miller was watched on by an estimated crowd of 70,000 people during the 1931 English Derby. Despite losing the race he made the transition from being an ordinary greyhound to a public icon. His name was written about in many international newspapers and magazines and he even featured in several films.

His final race came in the St. Leger Stakes in October 1931. He would go on to win the race beating Seldom Lad in the process. Out of a total of 68 races Mick The Miller won 51 and out of those 68 races he failed to be out of the top two on only five occasions. His racing success and the high esteem he was held in by the public ensured that he entered both the British and American Hall-Of-Fame.

A commemorative statue created by the sculptor, Elizabeth O’Kane, was erected in his honour in Killeigh, County Offaly, Ireland. The sculpture is so detailed it even has Mick The Miller’s distinctive scar that was just below his right eye.

Mick The Miller Sculpture At Killeigh

Recommended Reading

You may wish to check out the online home of Mick The Miller at www.mickthemiller.com.

You may also wish to check out Yellow Magpie’s The Dog: Man’s Most Useful Best Friend.


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6 Responses to Mick The Miller: The World’s Most Famous Greyhound

  1. Pingback: The Dog: Man's Most Useful Best Friend

  2. Tom Buckley says:

    The dog a mans best friend for sure

  3. Yellow Magpie says:

    Thanks for your comment, Tom. Yes, and a great friend at that!

  4. Olivia Anna Hayter says:

    Bless 🙂 My Grandfather’s brother was Albert Williams.

  5. Brendan Berry says:

    Very proud to be from the village that Mick the Miller was born and raised.
    I would be very interested in talking to you Olivia Anna Hayter.

  6. Yellow Magpie says:

    Thanks, Brendan/Olivia?

    Perhaps it is an ill-conceived idea but maybe Killeigh could get together and set up a space dedicated to Mick The Miller – a sort of mini-museum. I’m sure that Nationwide would love to cover it.

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