He amassed 43 Lions appearances, including nine at Test-match level, and won a further 37 caps for Ireland before ending his international career in 1970.
Although a specialist tight-head, Millar played both Tests against the Wallabies in 1959 as loosehead and was the most-used prop on his first tour to South Africa three years later.
A fly-half during his junior days, the former Ballymena front row forward went on to coach his country at the inaugural World Cup in 1987 before serving as a popular Chairman of the International Rugby Board (IRB) until 2007.
Now 74, Millar was recently awarded France's highest decoration, the Légion d'honneur, at a ceremony by Bernard Lapasset, his successor as IRB Chairman.
Syd Millar's factfile
Date of birth: May 23 1934
International caps: Ireland 37
Height: 6ft (1.83m)
Weight: 16st (102kg)
Millar's Lions lowdown
Lions debut: Versus New South Wales, May 30, 1959
Lions Tests: 9 (Both Tests vs Aus and 2nd Test vs NZ in 1959, all four Tests against SA in 1962, 1st and 2nd Tests vs SA in 1968)
Lions non-Test appearances: 34
Total Lions appearances: 43 (18 in 1959, 16 in 1962 and nine in 1968)
Lions points: 10* (two tries) *under the current scoring system of five points for a try
Final Lions appearance: Versus Orange Free State, Bloemfontein, July 20, 1968
Syd Millar at the 2007 Rugby World Cup in his role as outgoing IRB Chairman
On touring South Africa
"South Africa is a great place to tour and on the High Veld, with their dry, hard grounds, it is a super place to play a handling game, while the huge public interest makes it something special - only New Zealand matches them for their enthusiasm and commitment to the game.
"To some degree it is hard to differentiate between playing and coaching but all four of my trips to South Africa were really good tours.
"I guess the 1962 tour was a good trip as a player, when we drew the first Test, lost the second 3-0 and the third on a mistake. It was a close series and perhaps we deserved a bit better.
"In 1968 we didn't have the same capacity of players but we did OK and in 1974 as coach we didn't lose a game - winning 21 and drawing one out of 22 matches and playing some great rugby along the way.
"Those tours leave me in no doubt as to what the 2009 Lions can expect next summer when they face the Springboks in Durban, Pretoria and Johannesburg."
On what is needed to beat the Springboks
"To beat the Springboks will not only depend on the strengths of the Lions players but also where they feel there may be weakness in South Africa's play and where they may be able to put pressure on them. And what goes almost without saying when you play South Africa - and it is hardly rocket science - is that you have to be able to scrum and scrum and scrum and that means picking adequate props just for starters.
"This is also a huge season for the South African players and, although they currently have some problems and injuries and may be short in some positions, by the time the Lions arrive they will be sorted and every player will be desperate to play against the Lions, be it in the provincial games or the Tests.
"The Lions will have to be very clear how they intend to win the series and pick their squad accordingly with the players who fit the game plan that coach Ian McGeechan will have settled on."
Syd Millar has toured South Africa four times with the Lions
On his hopes for 2009
"My hope for the Lions of 2009 is that they not only win the three-Test series but that they do that by playing positive rugby. I say that because I feel that currently we are playing too much of a driving game with a fear of losing possession, that we are concentrating on continuity of possession and not continuity of play. Some of the new laws being trialed encourage playing a stretching game and a running contest and the Lions must go for players to take advantage of that.
"If we cannot pick a good enough side from the four countries to really challenge the Springboks then there is something wrong and I honestly think they can go there fairly confident of winning the series."