MIKE Whitehead admits that leaving Clifton Lane for the final time will be a massive wrench, saying: “I’ve loved my time at Rotherham.”
The inspirational fly-half has earned his place in the club’s history books in the five years since Andre Bester brought him north from London Welsh. A whopping 589 points in 110 starts tells the story and when he heads south to Mike Schmid’s Esher next season it will leave the Lane men with a big hole to fill.
Apart from his playing achievements—including being one of the architects of the Titans climb to second place three years ago—Whitehead has also been an influential team-man both on and off the park.
And he admits that it’s taken a few sleepless nights before arriving at his decision.
“It’s been a pretty big call for me,” says Whitehead.
“I’ll be disappointed to leave because I’ve made so many friends here. But sometimes you have to have a change in life and obviously my work commitments have become bigger and bigger in the south. They’re all down south and so Esher fits the bill really well for me.
“I’ve always liked Mike Schmid. I knew about him when he was at Rotherham and know how highly people think of him. He’s about as big as it gets in Rotherham Rugby.
“I was disappointed that they went down last year when five teams were relegated because they had really found their level and they were playing some really good stuff.
“I sat down with Mike and had a chat and it all went from there really.”