Sez Les: Denis notches up his 700th game

Millers' physio Denis Circuit, left, with masseur Josh Mimms
Millers' physio Denis Circuit, left, with masseur Josh Mimms
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He’s had three promotions with the Blades and another three with Rotherham United.

Tomorrow marks his 700th game with the Millers but he’s never kicked a ball for them. Everyone prefers it when he’s nothing to do - yet they’d never turn out without him.

Step forward Denis Circuit, physio, sometime confidante, part-psychologist, often butt of player banter but general good egg!

Denis will pick up his bag at the New York Stadium tomorrow for his 700th game as Millers physio.

Tag on the years he did at Bramall Lane, initially under Dave Bassett, and he passed game number 1,000 some time ago.

“Back in the 1980s, I decided to go on a physio’s course which, ironically, was held at Millmoor. I was hooked and something I wanted to do,” says Denis, a Sheffielder originally from Attercliffe.

He was asked to work with Rotherham’s youth team and that’s how he started. He studied, went on courses, became fully qualified, had a spell with the Millers, and after going self-employed got a call from Sheffield United and jumped at the opportunity, initially working under Dave Bassett.

That brought him one of his most emotional moments. He and assistant manager Geoff Taylor accompanied the stricken Mel Rees around the Wembley pitch before the all-Sheffield semi in 1993.

“Mel asked if he could do that and the reception from the entire crowd, Wednesdayites as well, was unbelievable,” said Denis. “It was so emotional and I got goosebumps, still do when I talk about it.”

He left the Blades in 1997 but got a call from the Millers in 1999, working firstly under Ronnie Moore and he’s enjoyed his time.

“It’s more than dealing with injuries,” says Denis.

“People skills are important, players can confide in you, perhaps a problem not connected with playing, but you have to get players to trust you.

“There’s plenty of banter, a lot of it flies around in the physio’s room, you get leg pulling, the mickey taken, but you have to be able to deal with that.”

“Of course everyone’s happy if I’ve nothing to do,” he chuckled. “It means everybody’s ok.” Come next May, however, Denis will be finding other things to do - he’s hanging up his bag and retiring.