‘I got my goal and I have never sprinted quicker in my life’
ROTHERHAM UNITED goal hero Richard Wood labelled the Millers’ golden promotion as the best moment of his long career – with his two young sons crying tears of joy after his sweet Wembley contribution.
The Millers captain provided an inspirational encore to his strike in the semi-final second leg win over Scunthorpe United with two goals to crown his first visit to the home of football – picking the perfect moment to net the first double of his professional career.
Wood, who sprinted in the direction of his family following his goals, said: “It is my first ever brace and I could not have timed it better. And I won a penalty as well.
“The reason I sprinted so far when celebrating was because my children were just above the tunnel with my missus. My kids were crying tears of joy and that is what it is all about and what you want to see.
“Just to do it for them, as a dad. Nobody can take that away from me.
“All my friends were here and they were in tears too. There is nothing better and I want to savour this special feeling.
“I had to have a quiet 10 minutes on my own afterwards and let it all sink in. I was drained. It is the proudest moment of my footballing career.
“Winning the play-offs with (Sheffield) Wednesday (in 2005) was unbelievable. But to do it in front of your children means that much more.
“My eldest woke up at six in the morning and was absolutely buzzing and could not wait. Then my missus woke my youngest up and he was crying straightaway. He said he was too nervous and was having pins and needles as he was getting dressed.
“He then went into my missus’s room and had all his clothes back to front and could not function.
“He is only seven. He was more nervous than anybody.
“We all dug in and ground it out and it is just rewards for the season we have had.
“We have done brilliantly all season. I am just proud to lead the team out and for the way the team played.
“I was struggling after 20 minutes in that heat and both teams were out on their feet.
“But then I got my goal and I have never sprinted quicker in my life. It just came out of nowhere and I was shattered after it.
“But that winning feeling is what it is all about in football.”
Meanwhile, Millers midfielder Joe Newell was left to savour the perfect weekend after setting up both of Wood’s goals at Wembley.
The Birmingham City supporter watched the Blues’ arch-rivals Aston Villa lose in the Championship play-off final on Saturday and after deriving pleasure from that, he took immense satisfaction from yesterday’s main course.
Newell, sent off on his previous visit to Wembley in a Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final for Peterborough in 2014, said: “It’s unbelievable and the best feeling I have had in football with guys that I love. We just worked so hard for each other.
“I was delighted for Woody. He has got a bust knee and scratches all over his face and a bruised toe and that is just a normal game for him.
“He is the hero and deserves to be as he has been unbelievable all season. He’s our leader.
“This Wembley experience is a lot different to last time. This was my perfect weekend. Villa got beat and we won and all my mates were here to see it.”
YOU BEAUTY: Richard Wood celebrates with team-mate Will Vaulks after giving Rotherham United the lead at Wembley.