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Luton – The Legends Series – Milija Aleksic

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For the latest in our ongoing series covering those who have achieved legendary status among the support, we feature another former Luton figure who became a fans favourite.

Following on from those already covered – John Moore, David Preece, Mal Donaghy, Brian Lewis, Bruce Rioch, Fred Jardine, Brian Horton, Kevin Nicholls, Tony Read, Steve Foster, Mike Keen, Ian Buxton, Lars Elstrup, Peter Anderson, Graham French, Alan West, David Moss, Terry Branston, John Aston, Paul Futcher, John Ryan, Syd Owen, Marvin Johnson, Malcolm MacDonald, Bob Hatton, Steve Buckley,Chris Coyne, Ron Baynham, John Still, Jack Bannister, Ricky Hill, Chris Nicholl, Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu, Don Givens, Gordon Turner, Brian Stein, Jesse Pye, Raddy Antic, Joe Payne, Max Dougan, Alan Slough, Ray Whittaker and Dave Pacey

In the latest of our ongoing legends series, we’re taking a look at the career of Milija Aleksic, as suggested by Chris Winter.

Born in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Aleksic of Yugoslavian descent, Milija’s professional career began in 1968 when he signed for Port Vale.

However, it is fair to say that Aleksic was not an instant success playing for non-league Eastwood and Stafford Rangers before moving to Plymouth Argyle in 1973.

While on the books of the Pilgrims, Aleksic only made 32 league appearances and was loaned out to both Ipswich Town and Oxford United.

But in November 1976, Harry Haslam signed the keeper, and his career was on an upward curve.

Aleksic, or Elastic as he was referred to by the Luton Town support, remained at Kenilworth Road for three seasons, endearing himself to the support with some fine displays.

However, in December 1978 one of the big boys of the top-flight of English football offered Luton £100,000 for the player and Luton accepted, Aleksic had made 77 league appearances for the Hatters during his stay.

After signing for Tottenham, it was expected that the keeper would go on to become a household name, but he was to go on and only make 25 league appearances for the North London giants, courtesy of fierce competition for the green jersey from Barry Daines, Mark Kendall and, latterly, Ray Clemence.

Matters were also not helped when he had to spend a period on the side lines after breaking his jaw in a collision with the Manchester United striker, Joe Jordan.

But it was at Tottenham that Aleksic earned his first medal, playing for the Spurs team that beat Manchester City in the 1980/1981 FA Cup Final with Aleksic playing in the final and the replay.

In 1982, Milija returned to Kenilworth Road making 4 league appearances before dropping down into non-league football with Barnet while in his latter years, after emigrating to South Africa, he also played for Wilts University and Durban City.

Sadly, Milija passed away on 17-October-2012 aged just 61.

A fine goalkeeper who, in my view, never progressed as far as he should have in the game.

Milija Aleksic – Mini Fact File

Name – Milija Anthony Aleksic

Date of Birth – 14-April-1951

Place of Birth – Newcstle-Under-Lyme, England

Position – Goalkeeper

Playing Career – Port Vale, Eastwood, Stafford Rangers, Plymouth Argyle, Oxford United (loan), Ipswich Town (loan), Luton Town, Tottenham Hotspur, Luton Town (loan), Barnet, Wits University, Durban

If you feel able to share any of your thoughts or memories on the Hatters career of Milija Aleksic, please feel free to do so in the comment facility beneath this article.

If you can think of anyone who deserves nominating for coverage in this ongoing series, please drop their name into the comment facility beneath this article.

My thanks go to those who have already nominated faces from the past, they will all be covered, in time.

Next up in the series will be – Ron Davies as suggested by Chris Winter.


Previous article by Mad Hatter

Luton – They Played For Both Revisited – Brighton

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