Millers midfielders Ben Wiles and Matt Palmer went back to school last week to visit pupils and staff at Kilnhurst Primary School. The visit was of particular importance to Ben, a former student of the school with many of his former teachers delighted to see him and share tales of his school days.
Rotherham United Community Sports Trust work closely with Kilnhurst Primary, with Trust staff delivering a range of activities in the school including PE, after school clubs and classroom support. At the surprise visit, Ben and Matt met all of the students, signing autographs, posing for photos and passing on top football tips to aspiring young footballers.
Ben added: “As players, we are always keen to support the work of the Trust and this visit was extra special for me visiting my old school and seeing my old teachers. I played for the school team and have brilliant memories of my time here, although I must admit I still could not call my teachers by their first name as I am so used to calling them Miss and Sir. In all seriousness, I would like to say a massive thanks to all of the staff at Kilnhurst, they gave a me great grounding and I cannot wait to visit again.”
Ryan Cousins, Headteacher of Kilnhurst Primary was equally pleased with the visit from the club, adding that it was made particularly enjoyable by the return of a former pupil.
"It was great to see Rotherham United players visiting each class, especially when one of them is a former pupil,” he explained.
“The children were extremely excited and had many questions to ask the players. We work closely with Rotherham United on a daily basis and player visits always help to raise the profile of PE and Sport within Kilnhurst Primary School."
Following the player appearance, RUCST’s Operations Manager Gary Webb reiterated the importance of the Millers’ role in the local community, whilst adding his thanks to the first team players and staff’s commitment to their work in the borough.
“The Community Sports Trust are keen to positively impact as many schools across the Rotherham Borough as possible and having Ben and Matt visit helps to inspire children and raise aspirations,” he told www.themillers.co.uk.
“I personally think it’s a very powerful message to send to children at Kilnhurst by bringing Ben back as it shows with hard work, dedication and determination anything is possible.
“We are incredibly fortunate to have the backing and support of the first team staff and players and I know Matt and in particular Ben for obvious reasons are delighted to visit.”
Rotherham United are proud to work in partnership with the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) which was formed on 2nd December 1907 and is the world’s longest established professional sportsperson’s union. For more information on the PFA please visit https://www.thepfa.com/thepfa/about