Where did it all go wrong for Mimms?

JOSH Mimms' dreams seemed about to be realised when Liverpool officials suddenly arrived at Rotherham United asking about their 15-year-old youth team goalie.

Rafael Bentez and his staff liked what they saw and persuaded him that Anfield would be the football dynasty best suited to his athletic talents.

That was disappointing news for then-Millers' manager Alan Knill, but Millmoor needed the money that Bentez's cheque book was promising, as compensation.

"The offer of a three year contract was just too good for me to turn down," recalls Josh, son of former Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and Blackburn Rovers keeper Bobby Mimms, who is now coaching at Blackburn and who began his career with the Millers.

Fast forward six years though.

Josh is not living the millionaire lifestyle you'd associate with the Premier League players he was hoping to join.

He now works in sales for the 02 mobile phone company, lives with his parents at Stainton, near Doncaster and keeps goal for non-league minnows Retford United.

That's the same Retford United who are bottom of the Evo-Stik Premier Division with eight points from a possible 66.

The team that lost 7-0 last weekend; although fortunately for Josh, he missed that particular game.

The 21-year-old reflects: "In hindsight, perhaps I should have stayed with Alan (Knill) and the trainer Mick Hennigan, who was a mad, but really good, coach for me.

"They were good influences on me at that age and it might have been better if I had stayed with them and got my chance working my way into the first team."

Josh stayed with the Liverpool Academy for two and a half years before being shown the boot room door. He went on to try his luck at Burnley, Wolverhampton Wanderers and finally York City, where he had a dozen games.

"It didn't really work out for me in York, either, and I left there at the end of last season and sort of packed the game in for a while.

"But I missed it and thought Retford seemed a tidy little club to play for and went with them."

There has been such player movement at the financially-challenged club that the goalkeeper says there have been plenty of times he has played with complete strangers. The team hasn't won since a single-goal away victory at North Ferriby United in September.

It is their second three-point haul of the 2010-11 campaign, the other victory also coming on the road, at Burscough.

"There have been changes most weeks and it has been a struggle," he admitted.

"But despite everything, team spirit is good. Our record obviously signals relegation but all we're doing is taking each game as it comes.

"We got a draw at Stocksbridge Park Steels two weeks ago. We never say never!"

On Saturday, the Badgers welcome FC United of Manchester to Cannon Park, the team managed by former Rotherham player Karl Marginson.

Their visit means that their normal home gate of around 200 will swell closer to the 1,000 mark.

"I'll do my best and see what happens in that game and all the others" said the goalie.

"As far as my dream of playing full time football is concerned, I'm not giving up.

"I'll give it a good crack for the rest of this season and see how high I can go."

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