Darren "Pants" Millane (9 August 1965 – 7 October 1991) was an Australian rules football player in the VFL/AFL for the Collingwood Football Club between 1984 and 1991.[1]

Darren Millane
Personal information
Full name Darren Millane
Nickname(s) Pants
Date of birth (1965-08-09)9 August 1965
Place of birth Victoria, Australia
Date of death 7 October 1991(1991-10-07) (aged 26)
Place of death Albert Park, Victoria
Original team(s) Dandenong
Height 187 cm (6 ft 2 in)
Weight 94 kg (207 lb)
Position(s) Wing
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1984–1991 Collingwood 147 (78)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1991.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com

AFL careerEdit

A highly skillful and strongly built wingman, Darren Millane was one of Collingwood's greatest footballers before a fatal car accident ended his career in 1991 at the age of 26.

Millane was considered by Sydney and St Kilda, but Hawthorn won the chance, with Millane training at Glenferrie with the Hawks, but did not like the atmosphere and went back to captain Dandenong in the Victorian Football Association. Collingwood snapped him up and Millane liked what he saw, and his football career came along nicely, debuting in 1984, aged 19.

In 1987, Millane won the best and fairest award.[1] He found his place on the wing and was a footballer known for his toughness and attitude towards the game. He was most likely the recipient on the end of the kick-outs because of his strength. Although his skills were occasionally poor, at his best he found and used the football well, and became a favourite to fans at Victoria Park.

In 1990, the premiership drought breaking year for the Magpies, Millane was at his peak. He won the AFL Players Association MVP Award,[1] now known as the Leigh Matthews Trophy;[2] was selected in the AFL Team of the Year for the first time; and came second in Collingwood's best and fairest; but it was his finals campaign that was recognised. He broke his thumb just before the series, but continued to play with pain-killers during the campaign. In the Grand Final, against Essendon, he had 24 touches, and ended up throwing the ball up in the air as the siren went at 5:11 pm to end Collingwood's thirty-two year drought on 6 October.

Career highlightsEdit


On 7 October 1991, Millane was killed in a car crash while intoxicated.[3] On the early morning of the day, he was driving on Queens Road, near Albert Park Lake, before he clipped a semi-trailer and rolled his car, being killed instantly.[4] The autopsy revealed his blood alcohol content was 0.322 — almost six-and-a-half times the legal driving limit of 0.05.[3] He was on his way to his Noble Park home and that day was set to join 19 other members of the 1990 premiership side. The reunion did not go ahead as players, officials and supporters went instead to mourn Millane's death at Victoria Park.

Millane's funeral was held at the Dandenong Town Hall, where more than 5000 people attended,[1] while the large crowd outside heard the service on a loud-speaker. Millane's guernsey with No. 42 on it was laid on the coffin, while the 1990 flag hung in the background at half-mast. The No. 42 guernsey has since been retired from the club. In 2011 there were discussions to bring it back to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Millane's death.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d "Moment #22 The death of Darren Millane". Australian Football League. 13 March 2008. Archived from the original on 1 October 2012. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
  2. ^ "Peers again name Ablett the best". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 7 September 2009. Retrieved 6 March 2010.
  3. ^ a b Tom Arup (8 August 2008). "Millane's mother laments publicity". The Age. Melbourne. Retrieved 6 March 2010.
  4. ^ Paul Gough (5 August 2008). "Pies deny drinking problem". Sportal. Archived from the original on 17 August 2008. Retrieved 2010-03-06.
  5. ^ "Pies to bring back No.42". The Age. Melbourne.

External linksEdit