RUFC - Shutting the door on Don Valley
Rotherham United play their last game at Don Valley today and, I think, most fans will be pleased to see the back of the athletics stadium.
Saturday, 9th August 2008 began a new era for the Millers, having moved out of their spiritual home in the summer, the first game was against Lincoln City. Having gone into administration, the club began their life at Don Valley in Sheffield on minus seventeen points but a goal from Reuben Reid, just before half-time in that first game, gave the Millers all three points to start 'paying' off their points deficit. After four wins and three draws finally on 4th October 2008 the Millers finally got into 'plus' points when they beat Grimsby, four-one, at Don Valley.
I think one of the best atmosphere's we've seen at Don Valley was when Aldershot were in town for the League Two Play-Off second leg. The Millers took a one goal lead into this leg after Adam Le Fondre scored in the final two minutes of the game at the Recreation Ground and just over seven thousand were at Don Valley on the Wednesday night. Alfie scored just before half-time and Kevin Ellison made sure on sixty-eight minutes to send the Millers to Wembley.
Another game that will be remembered by Millers fans was against Cheltenham in August 2010. Four goals from the impressive Le Fondre plus goals from Danny Harrison and Ryan Cresswell gave Rotherham a six-four win, which saw the Millers in third place in League Two.
The biggest win for the Millers at Don Valley was a five-nil win over Port Vale on New Years Day 2011. Nicky Law and Ryan Taylor put the Millers two-up before Vale's 'keeper Stuart Tomlinson saw red for a poor challenge on Marcus Marshall just outside the area on thirty-two minutes. In the second half goals from Will Atkinson, Ryan Taylor and Mark Randall gave the Millers the win.
There's also been the wins over top teams such as Wolves, Southampton, Leeds United and Derby County in Carling Cup and Football League Trophy games over the years.
Also in the past four years we've sang 'Mark Robins` Red n White Army', 'John Breckin`s Red n White Army', 'Ronnie Moore`s Red n White Army', 'Lids n Warney`s Red n White Army', 'Andy Scott`s Red n White Army' and are currently singing 'Steve Evans` Red n White Army'.
And I think we will all remember the aftermath of the U2 concert!
So after four years today we will finally close the door on Don Valley and we are all looking forward to moving into our new New York Stadium. Will there be anyone who misses Don Valley? I don't think so - it was never made for football being a soulless place with little to no atmosphere. Yes, it's served a purpose but I, for one, will be happy to put a lock on the door and not have to go back there ever again to watch a football match.
What about you? What are your thoughts on leaving Don Valley? Will you miss it?
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