Honorary Life President John Breckin has paid tribute to one of his childhood Millers heroes who would later become a friend, in 'Big Pete Madden'.
Breck first witnessed the towering centre half when he was a youngster watching his heroes in action at Millmoor and it was not long before Madden became one of his favourite Millers players as a result of his commanding displays at the heart of the defence.
Later in life, Breck would have the opportunity to be properly acquainted with a man who he had previously only seen from afar on the terraces in the famous red and white strip, when he invited the Bradford-born defender back to AESSEAL New York Stadium as one of his guests in the matchday hospitality lounge.
Speaking to www.themillers.co.uk shortly after learning of Pete’s passing, Breck recalled fond memories of his childhood hero and friend.
“On the pitch, Pete was a real leader and a proper defender, who would stand no nonsense, but off it he was a great bloke, who I was lucky enough to come to know in later life.
“He was one of my first Millers heroes when I had first started going to watch the Millers, so being able to meet him and call him a friend in recent years has been something I am incredibly grateful to have been able to do.
“Pete was a Yorkshire lad and embodied many of the associated traits in his style of play. He was a no nonsense defender and a key player during some great times for the club.
“His name will forever be etched into Rotherham United history for his part in helping the club to the first ever League Cup final, where we narrowly missed out over two legs against Aston Villa.
“He was a man mountain and his infectious personality matched his stature. I know he held Rotherham United close to his heart and it was always a pleasure to see him on the numerous occasions I had him back as a guest of the club.
“On behalf of everyone at the club, I would like to send my heartfelt condolences to all of Pete’s family and friends, who our thoughts are with at this incredibly difficult time.
“Rest in Peace, Pete. Once a Miller, Always a Miller.”