Leicester born outside right Stuart McMillan joined Second Division Derby County before the First World War and made his Football League debut against Glossop in January 1915, his only appearance for The Rams. After the War he joined Chelsea but failed to make their first eleven and in March 1921 he joined Gillingham midway through their inaugural League season. He scored twice in 34 appearances before being signed by Wolverhampton Wanderers in June 1922. While relegated in his first season at Molineux, he helped the club to win the Third Division (North) Championship in 1924 before leaving in the 1924 close season to join Bradford City after 5 goals in 39 appearances for The Wolves.
He had three seasons at Valley Parade, scoring 7 goals in 73 appearances, but when they were relegated to the Third Division in 1927 he left to join Nottingham Forest. A single season at The City Ground yielded only 10 first team appearances, and in 1928 he joined Clapton Orient where he played until 1930, scoring once in 24 appearances.
But McMillan is best known for his spell as manager of Derby County, He became manager in January 1946 and steered them to a triumphant FA Cup win over Charlton Athletic in extra time in the first post War Final, Derby eventually winning 4-1. He then managed them for seven seasons in the First Division before they were relegated in 1953, with McMillan leaving the following November after a run of 6 defeats in 7 games.
McMillan was also a county cricketer, a right-handed batsman and a right-arm medium-fast bowler. His first-class debut for Derbyshire came in the 1922 season against Essex at Derby, where, as a middle order batsman, he was unable to make much headway in the match, bowling a single, expensive over, conceding 14 runs, and finishing not out for 0 in the only innings in which he batted. As there was no play on the first day of the match, it was to end in a draw with the best batting performance of the game coming from Essex’s centurion Peter Perrin, another cricketer who had played football for Tottenham Hotspur. McMillan made just one appearance during the following season, and had to wait for more than thirteen months before making his final two appearances, both at home, in 1924. While he scored well in the first match of the season, his second finished with him getting out for a duck.
His father Johnny McMillan played for several clubs including Derby County, Leicester Fosse, Small Heath, Bradford City and Glossop and was Gillingham’s first manager in the Football League.