Rotherham United’s summer signings were given an insight into the proud steel heritage of the town they are now representing, as they were given a fully-guided tour of a working mill at the Liberty Speciality Steels site.
Millers boss Paul Warne took all 12 summer arrivals to Aldwarke Cast Products (ACP) – Part of Liberty Steels - Rotherham Steel and Bar, where they were given an up close and personal look at the steelmaking practice all the way through from the raw materials stage to the continuous and bloom casting.
Liberty Steels Employees Scott Jackson (Process Manager Steelmaking) led the majority of the tour and gave the group a detailed commentary on the processes taking place, while Wayne Buttery (Casting Bay and Refractories Coordinator), Paul Senior (Shift Operations Manager) and Ian Strutt (Works Manager – Strip products) also gave expert comments throughout the tour.
The trip was not a toned down visitors’ experience version of the tour by any stretch of the matter, with the Millers able to feel some of the intense heat and extreme noise created by the Electric Arc Furnace at the steelworks and included the opportunity to see molten metal up close and personal.
The town of Rotherham does and always has enjoyed a proud history of producing steel for worldwide use and Millers boss Paul Warne, who is frequent in reiterating the importance of his players understanding the people and town that they are representing, was delighted to take up the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity handed to them by Liberty Steel.
“The visit was a brilliant chance for the new signings to really understand what Rotherham is about and I must admit, despite being an adopted son of Rotherham having been born and bred in Norfolk, it was really interesting to see it all up close in the flesh,” he told www.themillers.co.uk.
“The guys that took us round were actually on shift at the time and all hands were at the pump at the mill, so the experience was as authentic as you could get.
"I really want the lads to understand who they are playing for and how much it means to the people of the town when they pull on that shirt on a matchday.
"I am sure that the lads have a new appreciation for the history of the town now thanks to the guys that took us around.
“We were really grateful to all of the Liberty Steels team, who gave up their precious time to show us around, but particularly Scott, whose in-depth analysis of the processes taking place were both informative and interesting for myself and the lads.
“On behalf of everyone here at Rotherham United, I’d like to say a big thank you to them for having us and I am sure that my players will have taken plenty away from the experience.”
Ian Strutt, who liaised with the Millers to set up the visit was equally pleased to welcome Paul Warne and his players down to the Aldwarke site:
“It was a pleasure to coordinate the visit to our plant following an approach from Paul and the team at RUFC, to see if we could get squad members to experience some of the proud steelmaking heritage in Rotherham.
“It was a real privilege for Scott and the boys to show Paul Warne and members of the first team around the steel plant at Liberty Steel. Many of the employees at Aldwarke are lifelong Millers supporters and they relished the opportunity to show them what a working life in the steel industry is like.
“We were left with the impression that the lads were blown away with what they saw and their enthusiasm for the visit will leave a lasting impression on all who got the opportunity to meet them."