‘I got my goal and I have never sprinted quicker in my life’

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - FOOTBALL - LEON WOB­SCHALL

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.”

PIC­TURE: PA

YOU BEAUTY: Richard Wood cel­e­brates with team-mate Will Vaulks af­ter giv­ing Rother­ham United the lead at Wem­b­ley.

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