Given their relative standing in the footballing pyramid, Rotherham are often a stepping stone for players who want to go to the next stage in their career.
Here’s a look at six players who left the Millers and went on to better things.
Mimms joined Rotherham from Halifax in 1981 and after four impressive seasons at Millmoor earned a move to Everton, who had just won the league and European Cup Winners’ Cup. He appeared in an FA Cup final for the Toffees before moving to Tottenham where he played 37 times in two seasons. A move to Blackburn followed and it was with Rovers that he won a Premier League winners’ medal as Tim Flowers deputy in 1995-96. He later returned to the Millers for the 1997-98 campaign.
Brought to Rotherham from Notts County for £1,000 in 1967, Watson – a central defender – was the real deal. A fine three years with the Millers saw him move to Sunderland and in 1974 he made his England debut in Sir Alf Ramsey’s last game in charge. Also playing for Manchester City and Stoke, Watson went on to win 65 caps for the Three Lions and featured in the 1980 European Championships. He remains England’s most capped player never to feature in a World Cup.
Goater’s goalscoring exploits over a number of years at Rotherham saw him attract big-money and he was sold to Bristol City in 1996. But it was his next move – to Manchester City – that made him a household name as he helped them back to the Premier League and later went on to score the winning goal in the Manchester derby. Unsurprisingly, having scored 103 goals in 212 appearances, he remains a cult figure with City.
It was his second spell at Rotherham between 2001-2005 that saw Pollitt become established as a top goalkeeper and it led to Wigan taking a punt on him following their promotion to the Premier League. He soon became first choice with some outstanding shot-stopping displays and led the Latics to the League Cup final with a heroic performance in the semi-final against Arsenal. His day at the Millennium Stadium did not go to plan, though, as he suffered an injury in the 14th minute and his side went on to lose 4-0.
Things could not have gone much better for the Iceland international following his 2015 departure from Rotherham, where he had won two promotions and stayed up in the Championship. He joined Malmo, who qualified for the Champions League and were drawn in the same group as Real Madrid and Paris Saint Germain. But it is on the international scene where Arnason’s fortunes soared as with Iceland he made it to Euro 2016 and played his part in an amazing run to the quarter-finals, beating England on the way.
Adam Le Fondre
The amount of goals Le Fondre scored in Rotherham colours meant he was always going to get a big move and it came to Reading in 2011. He took his scoring boots with him to the Royals and five goals in five games at the end of the season led them to the Premier League. The top tier did not prove too big a jump for him, either, as he bagged 12 goals in a side that was eventually relegated.