Picture this: Miller’s glad to be back at the Bairns

Lee Miller is all smiles after being re-united with his first club where he grew up from YTS level to the first team and beyond
Lee Miller is all smiles after being re-united with his first club where he grew up from YTS level to the first team and beyond

Faces. Lee Miller remembers many of them. Not all he can put a name to, but he is familiar with so many people around Falkirk after re-signing last month.

Of course, that’s because he’s been here before. Returning to Falkirk he says “feels like I’ve been here ages,” and the familiarity is a big comfort – but it’s also been an eye-opener for the 32-year old.

“I was meeting the fans at the fun day a few weeks ago,” he told The Falkirk Herald. “You see faces and you recognise them. Maybe just from being around the place but their faces are familiar, and the fans were coming up remembering the last time I was here.”

He added: “I was posing for photos with kids and then their parents are coming up to me and showing me a photo of the last time I posed for a photo with them – when they were kids! That made me feel old - adults showing me photos with them when they were yay high!”

But Miller is happy to be ‘home’. Even if it’s not Brockville which he was used to. He talks fondly of the old ground where he plied his trade as a youngster coming through the ranks with John Hughes, Ian McCall and Owen Coyle, who steered him in the right direction for a career which has included Scotland honours and silverware.

Now, in a change of stadia and a change of roles, Miller is passing on that knowledge he picked up to the Bairns’ new breed, and hooking back up with the not-quite-as-young stars.

“Even Mark Kerr is an experienced head on young shoulders. He was only a year above me at Brockville but when I got into the first team squad training for the day, he’d have a word in my ear.

“Owen Coyle... just to watch him train, and his finishing, it was ridiculous. His fitness levels and everything. He was a top, top guy to be around and thrive off, particularly because I was up front with him.

“He passed different things to me, but I’ve picked stuff up at all the clubs I’ve been at.

“I took a strikers’ session (on Monday) and I’ve taken my B licence and you never know in football. I really enjoy coaching the really really young kids, but I’d try my hand to anything. So long as they’re getting something from it, if I can pass on anything then my job’s done – it’s a satisfaction thing for me too.”

“If I can pass anything on to Kevin O’Hara and Lewis Small I will do.

“It’s about constructive criticism and encouragement with young guys. I think I’ve maybe picked it up having kids myself and knowing how to treat young guys and get a rapport.”

While the fans are delighted Lee is back at the Bairns, one Lee Miller fan in particular is delighted.

“My nine-year-old Lennon came to the cup final with me and was hooked. He‘d been to see the team because we knew Rory Loy from my time at Carlisle but after the final told me he wanted me to go to Falkirk – I had to explain it wasn’t as easy as that, but he’s pleased too.

“I’ve had a few tweets over the past few years which has been flattering but it’s never been in my control and I’m delighted to be back among faces I grew up with.

“I’ve always looked out for the club – I loved my time here, and I’m just so happy to be back.

“It’s a quiet dressing room, a very young dressing room but I know a number of the guys from my ‘adventures’ since I left.”

From making his debut in a 4-2 win over Ross County – where the Bairns trailed 2-0 – there’s been 495 games in between, and now Miller can reach his 500-game milestone within the six-month contract he’s penned at Westfield.

“That’s amazing,” he said. “I didn’t realise that, but if the rest of what we’ve talked about hasn’t made me feel old, that has. Thanks for that,”