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Club News

READ | Richard Wood - Open Letter

17 May 2023

Club News

READ | Richard Wood - Open Letter

17 May 2023

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Departing club captain Richard Wood has asked us to publicise the following Open Letter to Rotherham United supporters on his behalf...

I honestly don't know where to start.

I always knew that this day would come but despite thinking long and hard about what I would want to say when it finally did, I am struggling to put how I feel into words.

It is a real cocktail of emotions and if I’m honest, I’m still not entirely sure that the reality of the situation has entirely sunk in.

One thing I am absolutely certain of is that my time at Rotherham United has been filled with plenty of memorable moments.

My stay here has had everything hasn’t it and after being loaned out a few times in the early stages of my career here, I could never have envisaged the journey that we would embark upon together.

There have been some lows and some dark days, but that’s football. You have to keep fighting when those tough times come along and I like to think that I have proven once or twice that is who I am. I am a fighter and it has always felt like the people here have appreciated those qualities about me.

I think that having experienced those periods it has made the highs even more euphoric – and by the way, let me be clear that the amazing peaks have absolutely eclipsed everything else.

As a footballer, going into any new club is venturing into the unknown. You can’t predict how long you’ll spend there, how successful it will be and whether you’ll play or not. Some of those aspects are out of your control, but I’ve always tried to keep my destiny in my own hands by getting my head down, working hard and being professional hoping that one day an opportunity to prove myself would come along. Fortunately, they did here.

I quickly learned that Millers fans wanted one thing from their players and that was for them to give everything on a Saturday afternoon. I promised myself that I would never leave people wanting in that department. If I’m honest, the affection I felt here from the fans as soon as I did get my first real run in the team meant the world to me and I knew that we were going to get on. People talk about players ‘fitting’ at clubs and both myself and my family really found a home at Rotherham United.

I have enough incredibly memories to fill five scrapbooks. I will never, ever forget the special days at Wembley – especially the League One Play-off Final in 2017/18 scoring both goals and the countless incredible occasions that this club has enjoyed over the last decade. Gillingham and Georgie’s goal on that baking hot day last season is a standout and that epic run of games that saw us survive against the odds under Neil Warnock will live long in the memory. The chance – given to me by the Chairman – to take interim charge of one game is something I was and am truly humbled by and will forever be grateful for.

I have worked with some amazing players and staff during my nine-year stay at the club. I’d like to thank every single one of them from the many lads I’ve shared a dressing room with as teammates, to the coaches and managers who have helped to keep my career going as long as it has and the incredibly talented and hard-working people you don’t see behind-the-scenes at the club. This is my home and it has only felt that way because of all of you.

I keep getting told that you can’t write your own ending and having had time to reflect on mine and the way in which people have celebrated my time at the club in such an outward fashion, I am beginning to realise it has been a fairytale. For a battered and bruised 37-year-old centre half with a nose broken more times than I can remember to be treated the way that you have me, has been beyond my wildest dreams.

I will remember each and every moment of my time here at Rotherham United with the utmost fondness. From hosting a lockdown quiz with a glass or two of red wine on YouTube to lifting trophies up those famous Wembley steps and everything in between.

To cap my time here by keeping the club in the Championship in front of a packed out AESSEAL New York Stadium was the icing on the cake and to have my song chanted with my two boys and missus by my side meant the world to me. It has not just been my life for the last nine years, it has been theirs too and I know they will echo everything I have written in this letter. I want to also thank them for their help and unwavering support. I wouldn’t have achieved anything if it wasn’t for them.

It has been my absolute honour to be captain of this football club and I promise I will never, ever forget the impact that each and every one of you have had on my life. Wherever I end up in, I know I will be checking the Millers scores and always willing them to do well.

I am looking forward to whatever the next chapter holds for me. This isn’t the end of my playing career, but I cannot lie and say that it is not with the heaviest of hearts that I say goodbye for now.

My time here has been truly magic. Thank you for everything.



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