We caught up with former captain Barry Miller after he signed on again at Rovers but in a different role.
Barry, I understand you have re-signed for Doncaster Rovers.
Yes, I’ve signed on the dotted line to be back at Doncaster Rovers.
Tell me about what you will be doing here.
I’ve been asked to take over the chaplaincy roll on a temporary basis as the present chaplain isn’t very well. There was felt to be a need to have a chaplain so I volunteered.
As a past captain it must feel like an honour to be back here.
Yes, it’s great to be back. There’s a lot of familiar faces here looking a bit older and a lot of new faces. It’s a different stadium and a different setting but it feels good to be here.
Is this an important part of your life now that you’ve given up football?
Yes, I currently work from a church a couple of days a week so it is a massive part of my life. I just love helping people and getting alongside them in their times of need.
As you said, you go back to the Belle Vue days where you played as captain. Can you tell me what it was like in those days for you?
It was a fantastic experience and an eye opener coming up to Yorkshire from London being with all these northerners. It was strange at first but I really enjoyed my three years here. I loved playing for the club, the pitch was great, the fans were brilliant and we had some good times. I had a good affinity with the fans and we’re still in the area so I’m an adopted Yorkshireman now.
Looking back, what were the highlights of your time at Belle Vue and Rovers?
Just playing here for such a big club, as in those days it was non-league football, but we were the biggest club in the non-league. It was a good opportunity to come as it was geared up for football league and the fans were amazing. As I said, I had a good affinity with the fans. I still see some of them and it’s good to reminisce about the old times.
What happened after you left Rovers?
I just drifted into non-league really. I went to Gainsborough, Hucknall, Burton Albion , Worksop and Ilkeston so I’ve had a very varied career since I left here. To be honest it changed once I left here as finding another non-league club like this was difficult. At thirty I retired as I felt it was the right time to give up. My daughter had just been born and I’d had a bit of a health scare so I gave up. It was fantastic to be able to spend time with my family but it’s good to be back here now and be part of this amazing club.
Is the church a full-time job for you or do you have another job?
I’m a house-husband so I get plenty of jobs from my wife that I have to do during the day. I look after our children three days a week, I’ve got a four year old and a seven year old, and I work for the church two days a week visiting and ministering. It’s very varied work and I often have my little son coming round with me. It’s a fantastic job as I love meeting and spending time with people.
There are other ex-Rovers players who are involved in similar things.
Yes, there’s Bruce Dyer who has his own ministry, Love life UK, which goes into under privileged areas doing a lot of coaching, mentoring and working with schools. He also goes into Doncaster prison once a week to visit the prisoners. There are a lot of footballers who are still playing but involved in ministry or they’re retired and doing a lot of work for the church.
Have you started this new job now?
Yes, I’m going away now for a week but then I’ll be coming in once a week to get to know people and if there’s a need, I hope I’ll be able to get alongside them and help them in their need.
Will the fans see you at games?
Hopefully, yes I will be at some of the games with my children. They can come along and learn the songs to sing.
Finally, I can remember doing a photo shoot and we had to have a retake. Can you explain what happened?
I was acting silly and put some false teeth in so I think that must have been the start of my demise. I don’t think I was held in such high esteem after that.