Linfield and Irish League football lost one of its true legends with the passing in his adopted Australia yesterday of the great Billy Millen, aged 70.
East Belfast native Billy will forever be remembered for his double strike as Linfield defeated Manchester City 2-1 in a European Cup Winners Cup first round second leg tie at Windsor Park on September 30, 1970.
The result was arguably one of the greatest in Linfield's history, with the then FA Cup holders only progressing to the next round on the away goals rule after a 1-0 win at Maine Road.
He was also one of the most colourful characters of his Irish League era. As a flamboyant, long-haired striker, Billy terrorised defences and scored goals for fun as the Swinging Sixties gave way to the troubled Seventies, until a too close for comfort brush with a Belfast bombing incident forced him to seek a new life for his young family, first in South Africa and then Australia.
"If it hadn't been for the Troubles, I would have ended my playing days at Windsor," he said in a Telegraph interview in 2018.
He recalled eventually settling in Australia, saying: "I loved it, the football, the whole Aussie way of life."
His favourite memory was of a whirlwind six-week visit in 1989 by his great pal George Best that saw him acting as an unofficial minder to the legend.
Billy related: "He was hero-worshipped everywhere he went here and had time for everyone. One day, he heard about a young boy who needed hospital treatment. A Celtic supporters' club were raising money and George played an exhibition match to help them."
Billy, who had been ill for a period of time, still had Belfast and Linfield connections through his sister, Kay, who is the wife of famed former Blues keeper George Dunlop.