Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughCan we go home? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Can we go home? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Can we go home?

Being a Rotherham United fan is a challenging vocation. Set aside this seasons hit and miss form (from a team that should really be achieving more), a couple of spells in administration, Chairmen who are ambitious but without the funds to back up their well-intentioned dreams, and a small fan base due to more successful big city neighbours (although “successful” perhaps isn’t the best word to describe the fortunes of Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday at the moment).

The main hardship for a Miller at the moment is playing at Don Valley stadium, due to their eviction from Millmoor, their spiritual home. Like a problem child disowned by its parents, and sent to live in a stale, draughty home with its cold, unloving Grandparents, Rotherham United have never made themselves at home at Don Valley.

The construction of a new ground (actually in Rotherham!) is the only light at the end of a soulless, plastic tunnel. It can’t come quick enough.

Present Chairman Tony Stewart is doing exactly what he said he was going to do, and is admired by fans for having the guts to do what needed doing. We all knew that we were going to be temporarily homeless, but it just seems that, after only a few seasons, home is very far away.

A typical match at Don Valley is a tawdry affair. The wind seems to constantly circle the stadium like a 10,000 metre runner. The running track separates the supporters from the team like a medieval moat. The awful yellow seats are a permanent reminder that we don’t belong here, and the empty side of the stadium seems to grin and mock in a silent, grey manner.

The only silver lining at the grey cloud stadium (Grey Cloud Stadium is actually not as ridiculous a name as those that adorn several new grounds) is Miller Bear, possibly the best mascot in the world. Constantly entertaining not only the kids, but also the adults who are too far away from the pitch to make out who is who. Our furry entertainer tries to rally the crowd, mocks opposition player’s histrionics after a good, hard, league 2 tackle, and performs better goal celebrations than even the most flamboyant player (including that weird “lawnmower” thing that Le Fondre has started doing).

The diehard supporters just want to go home. Their collective dreams are written on their faces at every “home” game. It will happen, just one more season to survive in Sheffield’s industrial heartland.

I can see it now, the fireworks, the red and white seats, the old songs being resurrected, and Miller Bear, the master of ceremonies, presiding over a full house.

And we’ll still have Le Fondre…or is that a dream too far?

Benjamin Johnson

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