ONE of the stars of the Millers' 1980-81 championship season, Rodney Fern, has died.
Rod, who was 69, came to Millmoor in 1979 and immediately became a fans' favourite with his balding hairstyle, on-field drive and eye for goal.
He was brought in as a replacement for Trevor Phillips and while he didn't hit the net so often in his first season, the former Leicester City and Chesterfield striker played a major role the following year as Rotherham swept to the Division Three crown - scoring the vital goal that gave the Millers a title-clinching 2-1 win over Plymouth on a famous final day of the season at Millmoor.
Born in Burton in 1948, Rod spent four seasons at Rotherham, moving on in 1983 after making 105 appearances and scoring 35 times.
Millers 1980-81 team mate John Breckin led the early tributes, saying: "I was very sad to wake up to the news that my old team-mate, good friend and one of the best strikers I've played with has passed away.
"I'll never forget the '80-81 season, especially the last goal of the year against Plymouth."
There will be a full tribute in this Friday's Advertiser.