RUFC - The New York Stadium
Rotherham United are home.
For the first time in four years the Millers have played a home game on home soil - and the day was just great from start to finish.
Getting off the bus and seeing Rotherham shirts in the bus station took me back to the days at Millmoor when the bus station was full of Millers fans around 2pm. This was only just gone 1pm and there we all were making our ways to the New York Stadium. I had a word or two with various people and going past the railway station (also new but seems to have taken an age to finish) two Barnsley fans asked the way to the stadium so I obligingly took them and showed them the way - there are actually signs up for anyone walking (did we ever have signs up to Millmoor?)
Getting to the stadium it was buzzing with everyone acting just like Japanese tourists clicking away with camera's at anything and everything. The sun was out and it quite frankly a perfect day. Then, as I started to walk down Don Street I began to feel frankly disappointed - where was the yellow brick road that was to lead me to the emerald city? Come on, I'd done my bit wearing red shoes (well, OK, trainers but they were red and I would have been capable of clicking the heels if necessary). Where was the lion, the scarecrow and the tin man? As I passed the old Guest and Chrimes building I had a furtive look to see if there were any witches feet sticking out from under but all there was were two men down a hole with electric cables in their hands which wasn't quite the same.
Then, there it was in front of me this brand spanking new stadium. I went in and was met by a queue of people waiting for all offerings of food and drink but I wanted to get in and sit in 'my' seat. I wanted to see the view. The pitch looked amazing. My view was fine and there and I'm surrounded by a lot of nice Millers. I made a trip to the loo - as different as could be from the few mucky things we had at Millmoor.
Whenever anyone appeared on the pitch there was applause. I'm not sure we actually knew who these people were but hey, it didn't matter! The applause for Tony Stewart - which even the Barnsley fans joined in with - lasted for quite a while - he'd done what he said and he's brought us home. The PA system wasn't too good and so we missed quite a bit of his speech but again, it didn't matter, we know what he wanted to say. He left the pitch to 'There's only one Tony Stewart' from three sides of the ground. When the players came out to warm-up they were applauded. When they came out to start the game the applause was rapturous.
The game? Oh we won and deservedly so - but it wasn't really about the game today. Today was about the first ever visit to the New York Stadium.
And what a brilliant day it was!
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