Chorley FC fans urged to take part in a minute's applause to pay tribute to club legend Danny Mills' wife Claire before their play-off clash with Altrincham

Chorley FC fans have been urged to take part in a minute's applause to pay tribute to club legend Danny Mills' wife Claire before Sunday's play-off clash with Altrincham at Victory Park.

Saturday, 4th May 2019, 6:10 pm
Updated Sunday, 5th May 2019, 3:56 pm
The Mills family celebrate Danny's retirement. Claire, Ellie, Jessica and Danny Mills celebrate the former Chorley player's retirement.

The mother of two died last week at the age of 43 following a battle with cancer.Claire was a senior staff nurse at Bolton Hospice and was a regular at Victory Park to watch her husband play for the Magpies in the early 2000s with daughters Ellie, 17 and Jessica, 16.Danny Mills played for Chorley from 2000 to 2004 and Claire was proud to see daughter Ellie follow in his footsteps by featuring for the Chorley women's team.The Mills family live in Horwich and the Magpies will pay tribute to Claire before Sunday's play-off game by holding a minute's applause.Former midfielder Danny paid a heartfelt tribute to his childhood sweetheart.He wrote: "Claire was a devoted wife, mother, daughter and friend to many who was loved by everyone she met."She passed away peacefully surrounded by her family and friends and cared for wonderfully by her hospice friends and colleagues."Although dragged to games by her dad Alan many times she had happy memories and was delighted to see Ellie play for the women’s team this season telling Ell she was destined to follow in her dads footsteps.

"Ellie scored her first goal for the club on Sunday and dedicated it to her mum."The Mills family are expected to be at the game and Chorley FC manager Jamie Vermiglio says his players will also wear black armbands on Sunday as a mark of respect. Vermiglio was aided by Danny Mills at the start of his own playing career at Victory Park.He has gone on to guide the Magpies to the brink of history in his role as manager and as they bid to end a 29 year absence from the top tier of non-league the Chorley boss says the club want to show their support for a club legend and one of the stars of their women's team.He said: "Danny is a bit if a legend at the club, he’s always kept in touch with myself and the chairman Ken Wright."He is truly one of our own."We were all devastated when we heard the news about his lovely wife Claire and we want to do our bit to support the family at this tragic time. "The family’s link to the club now extends to Danny and Claire’s daughter Ellie."Ellie is a shining star in the women’s team."She probably would not have seen her dad play but he was a good player himself."He played a big part in the early part of my career by helping to develop me."I remember him standing on my toe at training and telling me to get used to it if I wanted to play at his level."Chorley FC is a club where great relationships are formed."Danny’s family have a long standing affiliation with the club and we want to show our support.”

Claire and Danny Mills with baby Ellie in June 2001.
Ellie Mills (right) dedicated her first goal for Chorley to her mum.