Everyone at Kenilworth Road has been saddened to learn of the sudden passing of former Hatters goalkeeper Milija Aleksic in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
Born of a Yugoslav father in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Milija was rejected by Port Vale as a youngster before making a name for himself at Stafford Rangers as they won the FA Trophy in 1972.
His performances at Stafford led to several League clubs monitoring his progress with Plymouth Argyle eventually offering him a professional contract and a place in their Division Two (now Championship) side.
Seeking a replacement for the injured Keith Barber, Luton manager Harry Haslam snapped up Milija in November 1976 and it was not long before he became crowd favourite at Kenilworth Road where his bravery and sharp reflexes earned him the nickname ‘Elastic’.
Virtually ever present for the next two years it was a sad day when he was transferred to Tottenham for £100,000 with whom he won an FA Cup winners medal in 1981.
Milija eventually lost his place at White Hart Lane to Ray Clemence and returned to Luton for a four-game loan spell in 1981/82 as the Town were marching back to the top flight. In total he played 92 times for the Town.
Upon leaving Tottenham, Milija moved to South Africa where he coached for a while before working at the The Golfers Club in Johannesburg selling golf equipment.
Our condolences go out to his family and friends.