FEATURE: Christmas with the Warnes

RUNNING around Herringthorpe fields with Richie Barker, getting up at 6am while the kids were still asleep and spending time with his Norfolk-based family.

These are some of the festive memories Rotherham United caretaker boss Paul Warne holds close to his heart, but this year the former Millers forward has three points against a relegation rival top of his Christmas list.

But he won’t be getting out of bed too early to begin the celebrations this year.

He said: “We are full of Christmas joy in the Warne house.

“My son is 13 and my daughter is 10 so Chrsitmas Day is a big thing.

“Last year me and the wife were up at 6am and the kids weren’t, we were like ‘wow, this is a right laugh’.

“This year we’ll wait for the kids to get us up, but then they’ll open the presents from Santa, I’ll come to training, go back and they’ll start opening the ones from the family.”

However, Warne is keen to extend the Christmas spirit for as long as possible, while maybe dropping a hint to his wife along the way.

He said: “The family get irritated with me because I like making Christmas last, mainly because I’ve paid for most of it.

“I don’t like opening all my presents, I don’t start opening them until at least five in the afternoon, because I can’t open anything before I go to work.

“Say I get a remote control car, I don’t want to go to work, I want to stay at home with the remote control car so I think I won’t open anything, I won’t use my new shower gel at work, I’ll use the lads’, so I take ages to open everything, which the missus hates.”

Of course, the hectic festive football schedule plays a big part in Warne’s life and did even as a player, when he wasn’t forced to train by former boss Ronnie Moore.

He said: “I’ve always gone training, even in the Ronnie days when I didn’t have to go training I would go for a run around Herringthorpe park with Richie Barker because we were sports geeks, we had to train.

“The lads are in this year, but they will be in and out reasonably quick as long as I get the preparation in I need.”

The Boxing Day game against Wigan Athletic is firmly in the forefront of his thinking and Warne is looking forward to having his southern-based family in attendance.

“Boxing Day is good for me because my brother and four nieces come up from Norfolk.

“They come to the game normally then I have another Christmas night with them. It’s good for my kids because they’re getting to the stage where they don’t think me and my wife are cool anymore so they get to have some fun with their cousins.

“And if it’s obviously better if we win.”