Rotherham United: When Paul Warne realised just how big Doncaster Rovers derby is
Paul Warne is in no doubt about the strength of Rotherham's rivalry with Doncaster, because he is reminded of it on a daily basis.
The Millers boss, who takes his side to the Keepmoat Stadium for the first derby of the season on Saturday, lives in Tickhill, which is prime Rovers territory.
When Warne used to wear the red and white of Rotherham as a player, Rovers were marooned in non-league so their paths never crossed.
But since he has moved into the dugout he is only too aware of what the match means.
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“I wasn’t really aware that it was such a big deal,” Warne said. “It is only since I took over as manager and we played them and in fairness, it must be a big deal as we take a massive away following.
“I always thought Doncaster’s big games were against Lincoln and Scunthorpe. But I am going to enjoy it as I do not know if I will be in charge for the next one.
“I remember last time at their place when we did not perform at all well and they were significantly better than us. In fairness, they were at our place for massive periods of the game.
“I remember the next day when I walked to the shops and I had my lucky coat on from the day before and I got abuse from the car driving going past.
“I even got abused in my village a few months back and a few lads pulled up beside me and said: ‘Have you lost your winger, boo hoo!
“There are a lot of Donny fans in my village to say the least.”
Given his proximity to the Keepmoat, Warne is a regular watcher of the Rovers, even though he can never get parked nearby.
“I do watch a lot of Donny games – down to location if nothing else,” he added.
“They always put me in a rubbish car park, in the rubbish seats. I don’t get it. No manager gets sent to number three (car park) except me and I am the nicest man in football. Car park three is virtually in Scunthorpe!
“I asked the other night if they could get me in car park one and I kindly got in there and it was a nice gesture. But because it was just a (Leasing.com Trophy) cup game, there must have been 200 spaces.”