By Tony Dewhurst

Jamie Noble talks with conviction of his love of a challenge when he points towards Rotherham United's splendid new £17 million New York Stadium, rising high above the horizon on the former Guest and Chrimes foundry site in the heart of the South Yorkshire town.

He takes me along a footpath - alongside the banks of the River Don - and above the din of a crane busily lifting sheets of metal on to the framework of the stadium roof, Rotherham United's Head of Community tells me about the chief architect behind Rotherham's revival.

"The chairman, Tony Stewart, has driven this - it was his dream to create a community club in Rotherham and now it is coming to fruition," said Jamie.

"Winning The Football League Community Club of the Year fits in perfectly with what we are trying to achieve here.

"We are going through a massive change in Rotherham, many of the traditional places of work, the steelworks and the pits, have closed down and there's increasing unemployment too.

"We've had some doom and gloom, but suddenly there's a buzz in the town.

"We are giving the town a real focal point again, and Rotherham Utd Community Trust scheme has come into its own because we've given a lot back to the community.

"Winning the award has given us national recognition.

"It has helped us create even more momentum to bring Rotherham United home.

"There will be a Community Stand in the new stadium - and that's going to be very special because of what it represents."

You could make a Hollywood blockbuster about Rotherham's trials and tribulations over the last decade, with the club plunged into administration twice.

Rotherham have remained homeless since 2008, forced to use Sheffield's Don Valley Athletics Stadium to host their fixtures after they were unable to agree fresh terms with their former Millmoor landlords.

The Community Trust HQ and the administrative heart of the club has operated from a factory on an industrial estate, while the players train on the old driving range at Roundwood Golf Club.

There's no glamour here. It is a hand-to-mouth existence. The manager's office is a green portacabin and the players' canteen is the golf clubhouse.

Paul Warne, Rotherham's player-coach and a Health Ambassador, said: "The Community Club of the Year prize is a huge recognition, and fully deserved because the Community Trust plays such a big role here and has such a strong connection with the town.

"There's no ifs or buts about getting involved in the community schemes - all the players are on board - there can be no excuses.

"Recently, I went into a school at Kimberworth - a suburb of Rotherham - with another player, Danny Schofield.

"We read stories to an infants class and the parents thought it was brilliant.

"Whether you are out there talking about diet, a health issue or reading a story to children, you are constantly creating that powerful link the community scheme has with all ages."

Although Rotherham has severed all ties with Millmoor - their home for a century - the stadium remains intact, reminding supporters and visitors to the town of a football history now passed.

The pitch is tended and cut each week, as if waiting for the Millers to return home, while much of the memorabilia lies locked away in the Millmoor vaults.

That's not going to happen, though...the 12,000 capacity New York Stadium awaits.

Named after the area of the town which manufactured and exported hydrants for New York City, the first fans will click through the turnstiles in July as Rotherham launch a fresh chapter in their history.

"I can't underestimate how important moving to the new ground will be for the Community Trust because it will help inspire people in Rotherham," added Jamie.

"At the moment it doesn't feel like Rotherham because we play our games in Sheffield, and although we've had very little in terms of resources we have all pulled together.

"We've had many difficulties to overcome, but from day one the club has bought into the community ethos and we've gone out into the community and worked very hard to get our message out.

"It is unusual for a new stadium to be built in a town centre, rather than an out of town location, but there's so much to look forward to in terms of how we can develop Rotherham United further and the New York Stadium is already playing a huge part in the regeneration of Rotherham ."

Jamie says former Head of Community Dale Spiby deserves recognition for his numerous years of hard work as Rotherham beat off competition from Notts County, Portsmouth, Milton Keynes Dons and Bury to lift the national award.

"When we missed out on the Community Club of the Year prize a couple of years ago, we were determined to get better and better and work even harder towards winning it," added Jamie.

"It was a massive honour to receive that prize, and as I said to my staff that although I was the person stood on the stage in London with the chairman and the dignitaries, it was the dozen community coaches, the trustees and the incredibly hard working staff that this award is for.

"They are the people the community of Rotherham associates with the scheme, and I'm so proud of them."

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