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OBITUARY | John McSeveney - 1931-2020

14 December 2020

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Rotherham United are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our former first team staff member John McSeveney, aged 89.

Millers fans will remember John’s time with the club with extreme fondness as it was whilst he was alongside Ian Porterfield that the likes of Ronnie Moore, John Breckin, Rodney Fern and Tony Towner stormed Division Three, claiming the title in the process.

Not only was John present for that unforgettable year, he also played a significant part in bringing a number of the names that became so popular on the terraces to Millmoor in the first place, in his role as the club's Chief Scout at the time.

He was a part of the process which saw Moore, Towner, John Seasman, Jimmy Mullen and Phil Henson among others, recruited by Rotherham United, giving supporters new heroes who continue to be talked about to this day.

After a successful playing career which began in his native Scotland with Hamilton Academical, he enjoyed spells with Sunderland and Cardiff City before he played out his career with his most prosperous stints with Newport County and Hull City.

He moved into management with Barnsley after calling time on his playing days before a brief spell in the dugout with Home Farm followed.

In 1974 he took up the assistant manager’s role at Nottingham Forest before he departed a year later become the manager of Waterford.

In 1979 however, John's footballing journey brought him to Rotherham when Porterfield was appointed to the Millmoor hotseat ahead of what would prove to be a golden era in Rotherham United’s history.

Building on the foundations laid by Jim McGuigan prior to their arrival, the staff at the time got the Millers playing some of the best football ever seen around these parts.

The Millers went unbeaten on home soil for the entirety of the 1980/81 campaign, clinching the title by two points ahead of Barnsley and Charlton Athletic in their wake.

Many Rotherham United fans who were around to see the 1980/81 team are firmly of the opinion that they are the greatest ever to have donned the famous red and white and for that, we are incredibly grateful to John and indeed, everyone involved at the time.

John departed Millmoor with Porterfield to take up new posts with near-neighbours Sheffield United after their success with the Millers.


Everyone at Rotherham United would like to send their heartfelt condolences to John's family and friends at this incredibly difficult time.


Rest in Peace, John.


Once a Miller, Always a Miller.

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