Millers in Miniature ... model man Ken crafts small-scale tribute to supporters

Millers in Miniature ... model man Ken crafts small-scale tribute to supporters

By David Beddows | 30/12/2021

Millers in Miniature ... model man Ken crafts small-scale tribute to supporters


DEFT-HANDED Rotherham United supporter Ken Barrie has created a magical mini football scene from old Subbuteo figures.

Ken painstakingly put together the model stand and personalised fans to fill time during lockdown.

Millers supporters, clad in red and white, occupy the bottom section and followers of other teams the top section.

In between there is a directors box containing chairman Tony Stewart in his trademark mustard jacket and his brother Terry alongside Ken himself and his grandson, Jefferson.

“Everyone who sees the little figures can't believe it,” said Ken, from Kimberworth.

“I make all the scarves myself, rub things down and stick them on, even the ties.

“It takes me a week to do ten figures and put acrylic paint on.”

Ken, from Kimberworth, has supported the Millers for nearly 60 years.

“I did the model to mark the return of supporters to football stadiums after Covid,” said Ken, who has a love of waistcoats.

“I'm there with a red waistcoat on. My model has blonde hair but I've gone greyer now.

“Originally I was going to give Tony a hat but instead I just went with the jacket.”

Ken's model also forms a lasting tribute to Subutteo, the tabletop football game that was all the rage decades ago.

“I used to play Subbuteo as a kid against my next door neighbour,” he said. “I remember we used to have some floodlights and we'd have games under them at night.

“I first bought some Subbuteo figures as a kid and they were a right mess so I rubbed them down — the ones they make now are not the same plastic. I have some old fashioned plain ones going back a long time and they're easier to work with.”

Ken's work models aren't confined to football either.

He's good at war figures and plenty of people are willing to pay for them.

He's done soldiers from the Battle of Waterloo — hundreds of them — as well as the American Civil War with a thousand Confederates and Cavalry plus 50 Cold Stream Guards.

“I've even got Napoleon and General Custer who I painted a long time ago,” he added. ”I have had them in my attic all this time so I decided I might as well just sell them.”

The demand spreads to his football figurines.

“A fan offered me £60 to do 20 Liverpool supporters. A Luton Town supporter wanted me to do 200 figures but I've got arthritis in my hands and I've finished now.”

Although Ken is putting away his paintbrush, his lockdown labour of love isn't going to be hidden from view.

It is going on show in the display cabinet at the New York Stadium.