Rotherham United get military motivation from SAS TV success story in battle against relegation
Rotherham have a fight on to stay in the Championship this season, but it is nothing compared to the one they heard about from a motivational speaker at the training ground this week.
The Millers' bid to stay in the second tier continues this weekend with a crucial visit of Blackburn and boss Paul Warne, a self-confessed humanist, is trying to find different ways to get everything possible out of his players.
And Warne invited local lad Mark Peart to the club's Roundwood complex on Thursday to discuss his heartbreaking and inspiring story.
The Swinton-based firefighter has recently shot into the limelight after appearing on Channel 4 TV show SAS: Who Dares Wins, where a number of hopeful recruits are put through a mock selection process for the elite level military service.
Peart was one of just three to pass the course, but it was his personal story that caught the viewers' hearts as he tackled the challenge just a few months after his wife had died from suicide.
Warne hopes that Peart's story can resonate with his players and give them an added fight in the relegation battle.
“Mark kindly came in after his night shift as a fireman and spoke to the lads,” Warne said.
“He explained how hard the SAS programme was. He was saying how in times of trouble you have to dig deep and anything that helps the lads we'll do.
“Everyone has demons. Mark was good at explaining that.
“Every single day his body was telling him to quit but he talked about how you just have to put them aside.”
Warne will be hoping the talk has the desired effect as the Millers could really do with a win against Blackburn.
Rotherham are in the bottom three on goal difference but have won just two times since September.
Warne added: “Saturday is a really big game for us and we'll go out and try to win it. “The League table could look really good for us if we were to win.
“I think it's a good opportunity for us, as all the games are. At home especially. This league is full of exciting games all the time.”
The Millers should have Michael Ihiekwe and Jon Taylor fit after knocks, but Sean Raggett (ankle) has suffered a set-back.