Rotherham United: Millers chairman dreams of big day

Rotherham United chairman Tony Stewart
Rotherham United chairman Tony Stewart

One man more than any other will deserve his place in the limelight if Rotherham United go on to secure promotion from League Two at the weekend.

Everyone connected with Rotherham United is in no doubt that the chairman - and club saviour - Tony Stewart will deserve every bit of praise winging his way should the Millers end their six-season stay in the basement division.

Tony has dreamed of a day such as the one dawning with promotion clinched in the new stadium that he commissioned, planned - and paid for!

All it needs now is for the team to put the finishing touch to things which they will do with a win over bottom side Aldershot whilst a draw will be enough assuming that nearest rivals Cheltenham don’t win by at least seven goals.

“May aim, all along, has been to help get this football club promoted and it is what everyone has been striving for,” said Tony.

“We still have to accomplish it, of course, but you dream of doing it like this and everybody is looking forward to what will hopefully be a great occasion and a memorable day.”

Head of successful local company ASD Lighting, based in Rotherham - Buckingham Palace has their lighting - Tony rescued the Millers in 2008 in time to see their final game at Millmoor in May that year.

Unable to secure a satisfactory deal to stay at their century-old home, he moved the club to the Don Valley Stadium for their four year ‘exile’ whilst promising - amidst much cynicism from the doubters - that he would take the club back to Rotherham and to what he said would be an ‘iconic’ new ground.

He kept his word. In the splendid and much-admired New York Stadium, he has not only taken the club back into the town itself but provided a facility which has put pride back into the club’s supporters and the town as a whole.

As manager Steve Evans has regularly testified, chairman Stewart has backed him all the way this season and given him his total support in player recruitment.

If they do it, then it would be only the second time in eight promotions in the club’s history that promotion has actually been secured at home.

The only other occasion was the unforgettable Alan Lee moment of 2001 when he scored a last minute winner against Brentford at Millmoor.

On other occasions, promotion was secured away whilst in 1974/5 it was because nearest challengers Chester lost a midweek game and so couldn’t catch the Millers.