With so many of his ex-players now managing in the Football League, Ronnie Moore’s explanation for it is simple: “They learned off the best”.
Four of the Millers that enjoyed huge success under Moore’s reign at the turn of the century are currently in jobs in League One and Two, with plenty more on coaching staffs at the same level or managing in non-league.
Paul Warne is, of course, in charge of the Millers, Paul Hurst is at Shrewsbury, Mark Robins is an established boss now at Coventry and David Artell is in his first role at Crewe.
Asked why so many of his ‘Impossible Dreamers‘ have gone on to be a success, he told Millers Time: “Probably because they learned off the best really!
“There’s a few, it’s good for them. They will have picked one or two things up off me and other managers who they have been with.
“It’s great to see so many lads who have worked hard for me and worked hard for the club to do well in their own right.”
The standout performer of Moore’s old crop, this season at least, is undoubtedly Hurst, who brings his side to the AESSEAL New York Stadium on Saturday.
Hurst has turned the Shrews from relegation favourites to unlikely early frontrunners, having also had unheralded success at Grimsby and Ilkeston.
Moore concedes that he never particularly foresaw a career in management for Hurst, but knew his tenacity as player would stand him in good stead.
“It’s strange when they’re playing, you don’t really think about what they are going to be when they finish, but he was never short of a word or two, that’s for sure,” he said.
“He always stood his ground if you were having a pop at him and he always had the right answers to come back at you.
“Hursty has learned his trade. He was disappointed at Wembley to lose in the play-offs with Grimsby and then went and won it the next season so he has had his ups and downs as a manager and I think that is where he has learned his trade.
“He has gone to Shrewsbury, without a massive budget, so what he has done at the start of this season is amazing.
“He has brought some good players into the club, they have got a good understanding, their unbeaten run was an incredible achievement.
“He has got character, the thing about him as a player, he was only 5ft 6 or something but he never got beat at the back post and he had a great career at Rotherham.
“But he has got that never-say-die character in him, he is a fighter, even though he is a little lad, he wouldn’t let people beat him on the pitch and maybe they are the things you need when you’re a manager.”
Hurst’s success at Shrewsbury has inevitably led to him being linked with other jobs, with the sacking season in full bloom.
He is thought to have been considered for the Sunderland role, but Moore thinks he should stay put for now.
“There’s a possibility a big club might come in for him, he’s had a good start to the season,” the former boss added.
“If he carries on doing what he is doing and keeps them up there that would be a fantastic achievement and then probably this time next season he might be ready for a big job.”