Skipper Craig Morgan has paid tribute to Rotherham United chairman Tony Stewart following their promotion to the Championship.
Stewart has ploughed millions of pounds into the Millers and overseen their move into the state-of-art New York Stadium two years ago.
The wealthy businessman appointed Steve Evans as Rotherham boss in April 2012 and the Scot has guided the club to back-to-back promotions, equalling the feat achieved by Ronnie Moore’s Millers in 1999-2000 and 2000-01.
Morgan told The Star: “You can’t take away from what Tony [Stewart] has done. You can talk about players as much as you like but without assembling the players and giving the money for them to come in, then you don’t get a squad, stadium or hotels.
“It would be easy for me to say it’s the players and the manager but ultimately without Tony Stewart, none of that happens.
“A huge amount of credit has to go to him. He could be on a yacht. He could be doing what he likes and lapping it up in the Caribbean but he’s not and invested his money in a football club. We appreciate it as a group and we understand what he’s done for us and the town.”
Following their 4-3 penalty shoot-out win over Leyton Orient at Wembley yesterday, Morgan admitted lifting the League One play-off trophy was the highlight of his career.
Evans troops trailed 2-0 at half-time but the Millers fought back after the break thanks to double by Alex Revell to take the contest into extra time and ultimately penalties.
Morgan, who clinched back-to-back promotions for the second time in his career having also achieved the feat with Peterborough United, said: “There was no screaming or shouting (at the break). It was a day for finding what the problem was and solving it.
“They [Orient] were superb in the first half and we didn’t perform.
“We pride ourselves on our fitness levels and we work hard in training. There are not going to be many teams who are fitter than us. That’s shown by how many late goals we’ve scored.”
The centre-back added: “From where the club were two to three years ago, I don’t think they could have ever imagined in their wildest of dreams what has happened. But it has and I hope we made them proud and stick behind us.
“They always say that the play-offs is the best way to go up, financially for the club, and for the players and fans. Having experienced it, it is definitely the best way.”