Ipswich Town legend Simon Milton hopes his career can inspire non-league players
Ipswich Town legend Simon Milton hopes his journey from non-league to the Premier League can inspire East Anglia’s part-time footballers.
The 53-year-old brings down the curtain on a 30-year association with the Blues later this month, the former free-scoring midfielder getting ready to start a new career with shipping company OMA Group.
Milton, will head the group’s charity work in Ghana, and will be sorely missed at Portman Road, having spent 19 years in several commercial and academy roles, often providing the link between the club and the community.
It was in his 11 years as a player though that he really made his name, being plucked from non-league Bury Town by Bobby Ferguson in 1987 and winning promotion to the Premier League in 1992.
Milton was one of a number of players in the mid-to-late Eighties that made their name in the top flight, while Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy is the most well-known example of recent times, having started at Stocksbridge Park Steels near Sheffield.
Tyrone Mings, meanwhile, was signed by Ipswich for around £10,000 from Chippenham, before being sold to Bournemouth for millions, while Needham Market’s Keiran Morphew had a trial with the Blues last year and was unfortunate not to win a deal, having impressed Mick McCarthy.
Speaking to the EADT, Milton said: “They (players) have got to come from somewhere, but they have got to be spotted.
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“You are not going to go from non-league to Manchester City, but you can go from non-league to a League One or Championship club and work your way up from that, like Jamie Vardy did.
“If you get there, you have got to show the same sort of desire at a pro club that you did in non-league.”
He added: “I had two players in front of me in my position, Mark Brennan and Jason Dozzell, who were both exceptional players and three years younger than me. I knew I had some catching up to do.
“I was technically not as talented as they were but I could probably get round the pitch more and probably scored more goals from midfield than they would.
“You have to think about your strengths, but look at other players, what they are good at and work harder.”