Rotherham have always been seen by us southern heathens as ‘one of those other teams in Yorkshire’ as they are often overshadowed by their self-professed ‘bigger’ neighbours Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United, Leeds, Huddersfield and even Bradford City. But the past few years has seen an upturn in Rotherham’s fortunes with healthy investment from their owner enabling them to hire decent managers, buy decent players and build a decent new stadium.
BillytheBee catches up with BigRich co-editor of MillersMAD about Andy Scott, what’s a DeeDarDouble and the Chuckle Brothers and learns than where they have come from and where they are going to, as an unglamorous side with a bit of investment crow-barred in and amongst supposed ‘bigger’ clubs around them, has led to more parallels between Brentford and Rotherham than maybe we initially might have thought
What was your first game?
My first game was a 0-0 draw against Cambridge Utd in 1989 and it felt like Millmoor was rammed, The Millers had won then Division 4. I wasn’t a massive football fan then but the vibe, smell, pies and even strange people in the crowd had me hooked..
Wins against Crawley, Notts County, Sheffield Utd and Oldham have been coupled with four draws and your first league defeat of the season against Peterborough last week.
A cracking start to the season. We’re really unlucky not to be unbeaten still. Last’s weekend’s defeat against Peterborough was hard to take and I still gave the dog an extra kick on Sunday morning I was that p@*sed off. We’ve played some good stuff this season. We gave Wednesday a footballing lesson in the Cup beating them 2-1 and got taught a lesson off Villa in the 2nd round when the beat us 3-0. But Saturday’s defeat was hard to take. We missed 3 sitters and it came to bite us on the @rse (sounds like Brentford. BillytheBee)
The Sheffield Utd victory must’ve gone down well in your manor then
The blunts are just dire. While it was very satisfying to beat them (and god knows we’ve gone a while since the last one), the very fact that everybody is beating them kind of takes the shine of it for me..
Did you lose any players in the close season?
None that Steve Evans didn’t want to. He’s been backed to the hilt by Tony Stewart (who to be fair has backed 3 out of the 4 managers he’s employed in my opinion)
Although what worries me a little, and especially after shaking buckets not 10 years ago, is the amount of players we sign, only to pack off to other clubs or freeze them out and put them with the youths (blimey …. it’s starting to get a bit deja vous this. Replace the word ‘Rotherham’ with the word ‘Brentford’. BillytheBee)
Did you pick any players up?
Yes, Rob Milsom is looking very handy. Ironically he actually played half a dozen games for Brentford a few years back after coming from your much loved rivals Fulham. He got a 6 month deal to prove his fitness after struggling over recent seasons. So far he’s kept fit and looking very good.
Matt Tubbs joined on loan from Bournemouth although we’ve yet to see much of him and his goals.
David Worrall joined in the summer from Bury but he’s out at the moment after surgery. From what we’ve seen of him he looks good.
Like Brentford, you were shaking buckets not even ten years ago. And now you have a rich investor in Tony Stewart throwing money at the team in the hope that you get promoted to the championship. Where did he come from? How did he get his cash? Will he continue to back the club?
Tony Stewart is a local businessman who started and owns ASD lighting, and since he took the reigns of the club back in 2008 the club has not looked back, despite the move to Sheffield which in all honesty was needed to break the grasps of the Booth family who were overcharging the club for the use of Millmoor.
If that hadn’t have happened we probably wouldn’t be in the fantastic new home we have now which was paid for by Tony Stewart alone (well he’s paying the mortgage presumably). As I said earlier, he’s bankrolled the club and backed his managers (apart from Ronnie Moore, who in my opinion didn’t get the same backing as Robins, Scott and Evans).
I do wish he was involved in the club in the days we were in the championship as things may have been very different. But as a club we’re on the up. The mood amongst the fans is one of confidence but those that’s seen the bad days won’t forget them and to be honest we’ve a lot to be thankful to TS for..
Peterborough was your first loss in 14 games. Manager Steve Evans has said you are playoff material. No pressure then?????
If he says we’re play off material then he’s only putting pressure on himself (or maybe your owner Tony Stewart is putting pressure on him after the investment he’s made. BillytheBee). I reckon we’re a handy unit. But from the fans point of view (well those with some grey matter) there’s no pressure for promotion this season..
However, the start to the season has been positive. And given the backing Evans has had during his time here, I wouldn’t be surprised if we were having a good sniff at the play offs come the closing stages of the season.
Your manager Evans isn’t a saint by any means. Found guilty by the courts of basically syphoning money in various ways while he was manager of Boston. Constantly kicking off he was suspended on numerous occasions whilst at Crawley and even once red carded 4 times in 7 games. Apparently he dropped his trousers in front of a female steward after the mass dressing room brawl match against Bradford. He was hated down at Brentford for a while but then along came Franchise FCs (aka MK Dons) Karl ‘Smugingson’ Robinson who superseded him by a long way. Difficult one for the fans this. Successful manager but with a well documented history of dodgyness. How do they feel about him??
On arrival he split the fans, myself included.. I’ll never be his biggest fan, but then I don’t like many RUFC managers for some reason or another.
But he gets results, (given the backing he should) and despite him looking like an overweight Tasmanian devil on the touchline his behaviour while with us has been good, so for that I’m willing to draw a line under his past offences as he has served his punishment. Theres always 2 sides to every story and I’m not sure that given his past discrepancies he may not get his story heard.. My god, I’m almost sticking up for him here.
My main gripe with him is the amount of players he signed last summer, then let them go by febuary.. I don’t like seeing good money wasted.
You recently played Sheffield Wednesday in the cup. There seems to be a certain unhappiness with your a Wednesday neighbours but United you seem OK with. Why is that then?
While we’re not keen on either dee-dar team, we have a better relationship with the Blunts than Wendy, mainly due to the blunts not having a ‘massive’ chip on their shoulder about them being ‘massive’, unlike the ‘massive’ Wendy..
Also when the s@*t hit the fan in 2005, Sheffield United really helped us out, loaning us players while paying their wages. The also donated the cash from a beam-back of their game against Wednesday. While there’s obviously banter between the clubs and fans, and we all want our team to win, stuff like that isn’t forgotten.
I have to admit, I’ve been around a bit … but have never ever heard the phrase Dee-Dar asociated with Sheffield. Maybe it’s a Yorkshire thing. I had to google it just to make sure it wasn’t an ultra offensive
Yes it’s most definately a Yorkshire thing. It’s what people from Rotherham, Doncaster, Chesterfield and Barnsley call people from Sheffield. It’s an accent thing. They pronounce their TH with a D (ie. thee … thou) saying things like Dee and Dar and we don’t.
So who are your main rivals? Doncaster or Wednesday?
Wendy without a doubt. But I can’t stick the pikeys either. Jumped up little club who think they’re bigger than they actually are..
What is the best local derby match you have ever been to?
It’s got to be beating Wendy twice in their own back yard, both 2-1 and both with late/last minute winners..
Oh how we laughed.. And I’ve never seen a ground empty as fast…. (Well not until Sheffield United emptied the away end at New York Stadium a few week back)
What’s your away following like? Will you bring many down to Griffin Park? Do you have any ‘designated big games’ this season – where everyone must travel?
It’s hard to tell. It’s certainly getting better. I’d have a guestimate at around 6-700 away fans at Griffin Park this weekend. As for the ‘big games’, we always like to show Bratfud (Bradford just in case you didn’t know. BillytheBee) how to travel. Notts County is also attracts a decent following, although that could be just for the Hooters bar.
Brentford and Rotherham have a link in common – Andy Scott. How did his reign go down there?
He’s a bit of a strange one isn’t he??? His reign was pretty much a carbon copy at Rotherham as it was at Brentford. Started off well, then tailed off and then got sacked. Made a big deal of signing Ben Pringle from Derby but didnt play him (Scott did that with a fair few players at Brentford. The most notable was probably Nicky Adams who he made a huge fuss about signing, paid decent money for him, gave him 3 full appearances then didn’t play him … selling him to Rochdale months later for relative peanuts. BillytheBee). Maybe it was a personality clash but given how well he’s played since Scott went, he might actually have been in a job now if he had played him.
Brentford are planning a stadium move in the next few years and fans are worried about us losing the soul of the club. Don Valley stadium was soul-less. However, there are lots of complementary comments flying around about your new stadium. Are you happy with it?
First off, I would like to say ….. I miss Millmoor. Yes she was a s@*th*le. But she was our s@*th*le. And for me, she was everything that was good about traditional football.. Standing up at games means you could celebrate every goal with your mates. All seater stadia makes that terrace huddle more difficult. I also loved the smell of p@ss and pukka pies (er … OK then. BillytheBee).
While New York Stadium is stunning and believe me its probably one of the best smaller grounds in the country, every seat has a brilliant view of the game (the stands are raked at the steepest angle allowed and everything about it is quality), it still doesn’t have that feel about it that Millmoor had before seats went in. But that’s Football since the Hillsborough disaster
Speaking of Don Valley, it closed last weekend and will be demolished by the end of the year.. a big shame, and what a great olympic legacy!
You mention terracing. Shouldn’t clubs be lobbying HARDER for standing at football now that post-Hillsborough reports have proven that by carefully managing the numbers of fans in grounds, standing is perfectly safe? Or are they happy to keep it as it is because they know they can charge fans more money for a seat?
I really cant see it happening, and to be honest, the way new grounds are designed (NYS in particular) I doubt you could safe stand given the size of the concrete blocks.. Truth be known im also getting older and don’t actually mind sitting down.. What I do mind are over zealous stewards who behave like the rule the world. I’m sure some of these plebs actually create hassle.
You can enjoy terracing when you come down to Griffin Park anyway
Yes, it’s nice to get back to an original kind of ground, please don’t take that the wrong way!!
The chant goes “You’re just a small town in Sheffield”. We’re not saying it … so don’t shoot the messenger. What would say in defence of that?
Only 2 words to reply to that this season..
I see the Chuckle Brothers were appointed honorary presidents of Rotherham. Was this some sort of twisted joke or are they really that important in local folklore?
They’re massive fans and even did an episode of chuckle TV or summat at Millmoor once. I hear Robbie from East Enders and his dog WellArd are Brentford fans so you can laugh
What other famous fans do you rub shoulders with on the terraces?
Howard Webb is a season ticket holder, also Deano Andrews.
Sean ‘feed the Goat’ Goater was your most capped player with 18 caps for Bermuda. Who is the best player to have pulled on a Rotherham shirt in your eyes?
We normally get them towards the end of their career. My personal favorite was Steve Thompson (now Blackpool asst manager). Classy midfielder who had 3 seasons with us at the back end of his career.
Alan Lee will always carry legendary status with the Millers. Especially for scoring the winning goal in our 2-1 victory against Brentford in 2000 at a sold out Millmoor. That goal sealed us back to back promotions – gaining us automatic promotion to the championship where we stayed for 4 seasons.
It’s the start of Black History Month this week which is meant to highlight important people and events of black/african origin through history – many of which may be unknown to the general public. I see Arthur Wharton, the first ever black professional footballer, played for Rotherham just before the turn of the 20th century (over 100 years ago). Impressed.
Sort of. He actually played for the old Rotherham Town FC. The new Rotherham Town FC was formed after the old club folded and that became Rotherham United His granddaughter Sheila Leeson still lives locally. Not sure if she comes to games regularly but I’m sure she gets behind them
What’s your style of playing? Who are your key players? How will you line up against the Bees ?
Depends on how Steve Evans lines us up, it could be 1 up front or 2, who knows?
Our midfield is pretty solid. However, we’ll be missing Michael O’Conner to injury. I’d expect a similar team to the one that battered Peterborough last Saturday but didn’t come away with any points.
Head to head, Brentford are just shading it winning 21 games to the Rotherham’s 17 with 16 games drawn. Will you close the gap? Give us a score prediction
It’s a tough game. Along with the Posh game last weekend, it will say how far we’ve come on this season.. I think it will be a close game – 2-1 Millers.
Thanks to BigRich, co-editor of MillersMAD for taking time out to chat to Beesotted.
You can find MillersMAD on twitter – @rotherhammad