Richard Wood column: The Rotherham United defender on long journeys, coffee and Jon Taylor’s rap song

Jon Taylor's singing had us in stitches. Picture: Phil Westlake
Jon Taylor's singing had us in stitches. Picture: Phil Westlake
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It has been a difficult week for the Millers. Two tough away games against sides who I believe will be right up there come the end of the season, Aston Villa and Brighton.

Aside from the matches themselves, it has meant a lot of travelling for players, staff and the fans.

Action from the match at Brighton

Action from the match at Brighton

We travelled to Birmingham on Friday afternoon and returned after the game on Saturday night. Sunday was a recovery session at the training ground and on Monday afternoon we travelled to Brighton after a morning training session in preparation for the game against the Seagulls.

The bus journey took around six hours. Luckily for us, the long journeys like this are made less stressful because we travel on a decent coach which is well equipped. It has televisions, tables, a mini kitchen and the all-important coffee machine. I love my coffee so having that on the bus is a godsend!

After the loss to Brighton, however, it was not a nice trip home and I finally got through the door at 4am.

The initiation songs I mentioned last week went down well on the eve of the Aston Villa game. Not one of the new lads declined to take part and we were treated to renditions of Elvis, Robbie Williams and Marvin Gaye to name just a few. The standout performer, though, was Jon Taylor. He sang a remix which included a rap which the lads found hilarious.

It wasn’t a surprise to see myself wearing a bandage around my head again during the game against Villa. As I challenged for a header in the first half, I got smashed with an opponent’s elbow just above my eyebrow. The physio, Mike Preston, came on, stopped the bleeding and strapped me up to carry on.

I’ve lost count of the number of times this has happened to me in my career. I suppose it’s part and parcel of being a centre-back.

I think I’ve broken my nose three or four times now and, to the amusement of my teammates, it is very crooked! There is no point in having it straightened until I retire because it will probably get broken again.

My good looks are diminishing with every year I play football. Cuts, bruises and scars are common occurrences, so it’s a good job I’ve been with my missus for a fair few years now!

Finally, I have to mention the Olympics and how brilliantly Great Britain (or Team GB) are performing. It has been great viewing over the last couple of weeks with some outstanding displays.

To be ranked second in the medal tally at the moment is a great achievement and shows just how far we’ve come in sport over the last couple of decades.

The hard work and dedication these athletes have to put in is immense. Hours and hours of training every single day. Their life revolves around their sport, so it is nice to see these people winning medals and their hard work paying off.