Paul Warne’s meme cameo doesn’t tell the whole story as he plots to follow in Steve Evans’ footsteps

With his legs unable to go as fast as his top-heavy body and his trousers in danger of ending up around his ankles, Steve Evans provided one of the iconic moments of Rotherham’s history.

After Alex Revell had just scored his wonder goal at Wembley to make it 2-2 in the League One play-off final against Leyton Orient, the Millers boss darted off down the touchline to celebrate in a way that only he could.

While it remains a splendid memory for Millers fans to look back on, Evans’ Wembley sprint has since become immortalised on a more wider scale thanks to the invention of memes.

Usually appearing on Christmas Day with a caption of ‘when your mum shouts to say your Christmas dinner is ready’, or something along those lines, Evans’ portly figure often pops on social media feeds.

And by extension, so too does Paul Warne.

As the Scot is running off manically, Warne pops up in the shot, jumping for joy at Revell’s ambitious-but-brilliant moment.

It is a fitting cameo appearance for the then-fitness coach, whose role in that promotion cannot be under-stated.

Not only did he get the team fit enough to accrue a ridiculous amount of points from late goals, he is also widely regarded as being the glue that held them together.

Often the voice of reason for the players, who found Evans’ method difficult to handle, Warne played a key role in keeping harmony in the camp while also acting as their link to the boss and vice versa.

 

But, whatever way Evans did it, he was successful and achieved something that Warne is now trying to emulate.

Warne could not be more different to Evans in his management or lifestyle, but the end goal is the same – win promotion from League One via the play-offs.

And, as of a couple of weeks ago, Evans is now one of those trying to stop him.

The 55-year-old is making his second return to the AESSEAL New York Stadium on Good Friday, hoping he can boost his Peterborough side’s chances of making the top six while also denting his former club’s.

 

It is a reunion that Evans, always one to enjoy the big occasion, is probably anticipating more than Warne.

“Am I looking forward to going head to head with Steve? Not really,” Warne said. “He’s won more games here than I have and he’s hugely experienced and I’m not.

“It was a rollercoaster at times but you could never say it wasn’t entertaining.

“Steve is a winner. He openly admits that all he wants to do is win.

“He’s a horrendous loser. That’s the other side of being a great winner, I suppose.

 

“He will do anything to win a game. Steve’s focus was always on the match day.

“The lads always knew exactly what he wanted from them. There were never any grey areas. Predominantly, he wanted them working hard.”

Whatever happens on Friday it is not unlikely that the two sides could be meeting again after the regular season is done and dusted either in a play-off semi-final or, if the footballing gods have anything to do with it, probably in a Wembley final.

And then it will be the little jump for joy we hope to see rather than the touchline sprint.

 

 

 

 

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