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Interviews Rugby League

int11 - Interview with Roger Millward - re 1980 Challenge cup, victory and playing with a broken jaw

Posted by... quigs eraofthebiff - on ... Saturday, June 02, 2012

Interview with Roger Millward
From BBC SPORT / CHALLENGE CUP HEORES
,

Cup heroes: Roger Millward

For more read Memorable Match No27 CLICK HERE


"It was every schoolboy's dream to play at Wembley in a Cup final and I thought my chance had gone" Roger Millward

To Roger Millward, the phrase "no pain, no gain" has special meaning.


The 1980 Challenge Cup final was just 15 minutes old when he broke his jaw.

Lesser men would have sought the safety of the changing room, but not Millward.

The Hull KR legend cleared his head and threw himself into the tackle just as enthusiastically as he always had.

His bravery brought its rewards: victory over city rivals Hull and a much-cherished winners' medal.

"As soon as I was tackled I knew the jaw was broken," he tells BBC Sport.

"The bone was out of place and I could feel it wasn't right. "Fortunately, a few seconds later, I went in to tackle Hull's Steve Norton and my jaw caught his knee.

"The impact caused my jaw to click back in place and I was able to carry on playing.

"My half-back partner, Allan Agar, did a great job for the next 20 minutes while I was recovering."

For Robins fans, victory over Hull in the 1980 final was especially sweet.

But for Millward, it was just a relief to be playing at Wembley.

"It was every schoolboy's dream to play at Wembley in a Cup final and I thought my chance had gone," he says.

"To play against Hull was even more special and quite a unique event.

"It provided for a terrific atmosphere during the week leading up to the match.

"I think I enjoyed the build-up as much as the game itself, but the atmosphere at Wembley was unbelievable, especially before kick-off.

"I went out for a walk on my own on the pitch about 90 minutes before the game was due to begin.

"Even though there were only about 30,000 spectators in the stadium, the hairs on the back of my head were standing up, such was the intensity of the atmosphere.

"As captain, I was the one who had to go back to the dressing room and steady the rest of the team.

"I was the one who had to keep calm and appear in total control, but I was so nervous I could hardly speak myself."

"I had the jaw wired up and intended to carry on, but I broke it again in an A-team match" Roger Millward

Millward's words of wisdom obviously had the desired effect.

Hull KR won the match 10-5 in front of a crowd of 95,000.

"We had a tremendous pack, with some very experienced forwards in Phil Lowe, Brian Lockwood and Len Casey," recalls Millward. "They set up the platform for our win."

The Challenge Cup final proved to be Millward's last.

"I had the jaw wired up and intended to carry on, but I broke it again in an A-team match," he recalls.

"That was the end but at least I got a winners' medal."

For more read Memorable Match No27 CLICK HERE


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