As a one off I will have to split this piece over 2 issues, because the man I reminisce about this week was a one off. Hall of famer, Immortal, Legend, Godlike and as many more superlatives you can imagine fit what Roger Millward meant to me, this club and the rugby league world.
It seems that my favourite players all had a role to play in that famous day in May, 1980 and boy did the Dodger do that to perfection! Especially playing most of the game with a smashed jaw courtesy of Wileman.
I didn’t see too much of Roger’s playing career pre 1978 but I’ve seen and read what he player he was, not just for the Robins, but GB and Cronulla in Australia. In the days when everyone seemed to be fair game when it came to late hits and punches thrown, the little man never backed down and played on regardless. For a Pom (playing in Oz and against their test side) to be respected as much as Millward was by everyone he ever played for or against him is testament to his standing within Rugby League and this applies even more so over here where he is rightly revered and remembered.
As a young kid I was probably spoilt watching the Robins win the League in 1979 all under the supreme guidance of Roger both on and off the pitch, before going on to dominate the domestic game for a few years after. On the pitch it was a joy to watch him even at the back end of his career and even then he displayed the signs of a player of greatness, he always seemed to have a split second more thinking time then others around him, he could ghost through gaps that weren’t there or pick the right pass at just the right time, I wished I could have seen the Dodger I in his full pomp on the pitch but that was a bit before my time watching. The memories I do have though are good enough to keep me happy in ‘middle’ age!
As a coach though I had a world of utopia (most of the time anyway) thanks to Roger when we won (and lost) everything there was to win in the domestic game.
It is fitting what the club and the City have done to honour Roger and I for one will never forget what a Gentleman and servant he was to the Robins.
Next time I will remember some of the stand offs who have graced Craven Park when the great man retired.
This article came from FanaticHullKR Issue 5. You can still secure your copy from our online shop.