Richard Wood is Rotherham’s longest-serving player having joined the club in 2014.
His time at the AESSEAL New York Stadium has endured many ups and down, from being sent out on loan to his Wembley heroics.
Here’s a look at the eight ages of Richard Wood’s Rotherham career so far.
Age One – One of many
Wood arrived at the club in 2014 following the club’s promotion from League One, joining on a free transfer from Charlton. The defender was one of 16 summer signings as Steve Evans went on a recruitment spree, bringing in such names as Febian Brandy, Ryan Hall and Mat Sadler.
Age Two – Frozen out
The central defender got some early games under his belt – four to be precise – before boss Evans cast his judgement and chose not to play him any more. He got one minute of action between August 30 and February 20, when he was then allowed out on loan to Crawley. He made three more appearances at the end of the 2014-15 season but was again not in Evans’ plans in the early part of the following season, with the Scot preferring Danny Collins, and Wood was loaned to Fleetwood.
Age Three – Not for Redders either
A change in manager at the Millers did little to help his cause in South Yorkshire as new boss Neil Redfearn allowed him to leave for a third loan move without even taking a look at him as he was sent to Chesterfield. Eventually he was recalled but his only appearance under Redfearn was the final game of his stint, away at Bolton.
Age Four – Warnock’s lieutenant in a winning battle
Finally Wood’s prospects began to look up as Neil Warnock was appointed manager. Warnock had no room to manoeuvre in his SOS mission so set up his side in regimented fashion with Wood paired alongside Kirk Broadfoot and told both to head it and kick it as far as they could. It worked as the defender missed just three of the 16 games that formed the Great Escape.
Age Five – Stubbs’ scapegoat
Wood was handed a one-year deal on Warnock’s advice and his replacement Alan Stubbs kept faith with the Broadfoot-Wood pairing for the start of the season. Broadfoot pulled up lame after one game and Wood was jettisoned after the second league match of the season. He was at fault for two goals in a 3-0 defeat, though had bravely played on after a head injury. Still, Stubbs showed no mercy and did not pick him again.
Age Six – Warne’s general in a losing battle
Kenny Jackett instantly restored Wood to his team and he stuck around, even though Jackett didn’t. Caretaker Warne kept him in his side as an experienced figure but he made little difference as the Millers slumped to become the worst team in Championship history.
Age Seven – A brief interlude
It would not be a new season at Rotherham if Wood did not find himself out of the team and the 2017-18 campaign was no different as Warne opted to go with a partnership of Semi Ajayi and Michael Ihiekwe. Some early gaffes from Ajayi soon saw the 32-year-old restored, though.
WATCH: Richard Wood scores his second. Could this be the game-winner for Rotherham?
— Sky Sports World Cup (@SkyFootball) May 27, 2018
Age Eight – The Magic Man
Brushing off a few errors of his own, Wood played himself into a new 18-month deal in January as he marshalled Rotherham up the League One table, with the Millers turning down an offer from Chesterfield. It proved an inspired decision as Wood went on to have a fine second half of the campaign, leading Warne’s men into the play-offs. It was there he etched himself into club folklore, first scoring the goal that put his side on the road to Wembley and then once they got there, memorably bagged two as the Millers climbed back to the Championship.