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Sports » Sports Clubs » KP TROJWIES MILLERS Football Club » 10 Years Anniversary of The ''Trojwies Millers'' FC
By Chris Saxon

Poland July 2006

It’s a hot Saturday afternoon in July; the crowd cheer as the number nine finishes a fine four man move to slide the ball into the net and put the Millers three goals to two up.  Alongside me is Rotherham fan and Director Dino Maccio, Roger Stone, leader of Rotherham MBC and his brother. Malcolm. Pre-season warm up games come and go at this time of year, so I suppose that there’d be nothing unusual, apart from the somewhat illustrious company. However, as I look around, the pitch is set in a picturesque location nestling amongst pine trees encircled by mountains. There’s absolutely no doubt that we are far from Millmoor despite those instantly recognisable red and white shirts. A close examination of the players donning the red and white, coupled with the unfamiliar language from the crowd serve to add to this somewhat surreal atmosphere.

This is no ordinary Saturday afternoon, and this is no ordinary Rotherham United fixture, this game is being played in Istebna. A small settlement, as I suppose that to call it a town is hardly appropriate given the size of population, nestled amongst the Beskid Highlands in the South of Poland not far from the border with the Czech Republic and Slovakia. To set the scene, this is a picturesque region popular with tourists mainly from other parts of Poland. Little known in the rest of the European Union, the area is a delight for walkers and picnickers in the summer and a magnet for skiers in the long winter months. I suppose that the nearest large town would be Katowice, about an hours drive away. Apart from the tourism, the region is famous for its woodcraft and lace.  

Whilst it’s true that we are watching the Millers, they certainly aren’t the ones so familiar to us and based in the industrial heartlands of South Yorkshire but the KP Millers Trojwies, a team which draws players from three Polish settlements, Istebna, Korniakow and Jaworzynka. Indeed the term “Trojwies” translates from Polish to English roughly as “three villages.”

Today is a big day for all concerned with football in this region. Here, just ten years ago, Rotherham born Peter Jalowiczor formed the K P Millers Trojwies in honour of his beloved Rotherham United, thus forever cementing a bond between two areas, of two very different countries, so far apart. Peter had invited myself, Councillor Stone and Mr Dino Maccio, to come as guests on this auspicious occasion. As a Rotherham United supporter, Councillor Stone accepted the invitation as a private visit.

Peter was born in Rotherham of Polish parentage and grew up just a few hundred yards from Millmoor. His father wasn’t a football fan and it was left to his mother to set him on the road to a lifelong love affair with the Millers back in 1983 when despite his initial lack of enthusiasm, he agreed to accompany an uncle to Millmoor. After that he was smitten and rarely missed a game. During this period he became firm friends with Dave Nicholls, the Commercial Manager at Millmoor. However, he maintained close ties with his native Poland and during a visit there in 1993, he met and married his wife Bogusia and managed to find employment in Istebna as a translator for a local Company with strong Western ties. After a short trip back to South Yorkshire, Peter said his goodbyes and left England seemingly forever. His friendship with Dave would prove crucial in the coming years and they regularly corresponded, exchanging news and the latest match day programmes and videos. Peter soon settled into everyday Polish working life but there was something missing. He simply couldn’t come to terms with the loss of watching his beloved Millers and decided to act by forming his own club, thus in 1996 and with a little help from his friends the KP Millers Trojwies was formed. Little more than a year later, the club was accepted into the Polish League pyramid and via Dave Nicholls featured regularly in the Millers match day programmes. It wasn’t long before the newly formed club were donning the red and white of the Millers courtesy of the club back in England and a small piece of Poland would forever be synonymous with that of Rotherham United.    

Back to the present and this tenth anniversary of the founding of the club was recognised by the Polish F A with Polish Premier side, Ruch Chorzow, a club that has featured regularly amongst the elite of Europe over the years, generously agreeing to provide the opposition in order to mark the occasion.
Three thousand people gathered for the first day and even more were in attendance the following day as the area enjoyed a weekend of celebrations. Apart from the football, local food and drink was on offer and a large stage was the centre of attention for folk dancing and music from not only the local area but other regions of Poland and the nearby Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Prior to the opening, members of the Trojwies Town Council warmly welcomed Roger Stone to the area. His visit, though a purely private one, was clearly appreciated by all concerned and the occasion was marked by the presentation of a number of locally made handicrafts. Mr Stone had several discussions with council and village members on various issues including tourism and the history of the region.

The presence of Rotherham United Director, Dino Maccio’s proved to be one of the highlights especially with local footie fans, it’s not often they get to meet a Director of an English Football League Club. In his honour, the Millers Trojwies changed into his gift, of a full set of strips to play against Ruch Chorzow. Mr Maccio also provided a variety of official club merchandise ranging from lapel badges to baseball caps, many of which were proudly worn by fans over the two days. Whilst there we were introduced to Piotr Majeranowski who is so fanatic in his support, he has turned a room in his house into a shrine of football memorabilia including many RUFC items. Speaking no English and never having left Poland, he has a superb collection of RUFC programmes, press cuttings and a complete set of translated RUST Ramblings!

Prior to the main event, Mr Maccio was presented to Polish FA officials; keen to cement relations between the two clubs, conducting an impromptu interview for the Polish press! 

As for the football, the main event finished in a 3-3 draw, which was a good result for the Millers as the visitors equalised in the dying minutes of an entertaining affair. Those present were also treated to a game featuring the best academy players throughout the region and talks are ongoing about bringing one or two of them to Millmoor for a trial. A celebratory “old boys” match between the local club and a team from a town some 50 miles north was particularly well supported and nostalgic in that it was perhaps the final time that those founding members of the club would don the red and white of the “Millers” together.

As guests, we were treated to many regional dishes, which, I might add, didn’t always translate, a good example being when we were presented with a locally made cake. Mr Maccio asked what the filling was and was politely told, “It’s a plant!”

One thing’s for sure, the name of Rotherham is now firmly entrenched around these parts and both clubs and towns benefiting from this goodwill. I do hope that these links are strengthened in the coming years.  

It’s fair to say that we were all quite overwhelmed at the welcome we received and I hope that there is the possibility of a Rotherham United team, flying over there next year to compete in a friendly tournament. 
Now wouldn’t that be just wonderful for everyone?

Chris Saxon
July 2006
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Added by: jk Added: 2007-10-10, godz. 12:37