Tony reflects ahead of new era
In an interview with todays Advertiser, Chairman Tony Stewart looks back at leaving Millmoor and the Don Valley years.
Stewart and the new board take the keys to New York next week, and the Chairman himself spoke about the time he took over the club and the move away from Millmoor.
He explained: “I remember that first match after I became chairman. We had Barnet at Millmoor, won 1-0 and Jamie Green scored. When I went out onto the pitch, the hair on the back of my neck stood up and the crowd was just immense.
“I could feel the nostalgia for Millmoor for the first and last time. It hit me that reviving this club was something I was going to be part of. It seemed to go on for weeks and weeks and weeks. It was clear that Millmoor was a no-go. The decision to move came easy, even though I knew there would be fans who wouldn’t move with us. But if you don’t put in preparation you’ll never generate success. There was talk of a new stadium but there was no alternative other than going to Don Valley.
“Rotherham has always been a club with a big heart and, for me, a big name. I didn’t see Rotherham any differently to Sheffield Wednesday or United. I never have done. People tend to judge on the volume of fans but in football, rather than business terms, that doesn’t matter.
“I’ve always liked football. I played as the fast guy on the wing, but my natural calling was running rather than football. My family leaned towards Sheffield Wednesday, but I haven’t been there more than 12 times in my life. I’ve always wanted all the local sides to do well. Supporting a team is a good thing and playing sport brings discipline and a certain way of life. It’s about what you eat and how you present yourself, and it’s rewarding."
Tony added: "I suggested that I go down to the administrators and find out just why the club had gone into administration twice in 18 months. There was this mystery of the club not being able to support its own business and I was shocked to find a £3 million business with high fixed costs and a commercial side with no revenue.
"“I felt it lacked good management. I came back and decided I would take over the club. It was as simple as that.”
We've been running an eight part tribute to Millmoor and it's memories in picutres all week, visit the homepage to find out more and look back through our photographs.
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