OUTGOING Rotherham United physiotherapist Denis Circuit is praying his personal Wembley curse does not strike again.
Circuit, who joined the Millers in 1999, will retire after the League One play-off final, having chalked up well over 700 games with the club.
The well-respected physio, 65, celebrated his 700 milestone in the home game with Colchester United on November 2 and is hoping to bow out on a high tomorrow, while ending his hoodoo.
Circuit, in his second spell with the Millers, was employed as first-team physio at Sheffield United for most of the Nineties and has painful memories of the loss to Sheffield Wednesday in the all-Steel City FA Cup semi-final of 1993 and the last-gasp Championship play-off final defeat to Crystal Palace in May 1997.
To complete the triple whammy, Circuit, who hails from Attercliffe, was on duty at Wembley when the Millers lost out to Dagenham & Redbridge in the League Two play-off final four years ago. If anyone is overdue a piece of good luck, it is Circuit.
Handed a great ovation from fans ahead of the play-off semi-final second leg against Preston – his last home game as Millers physio – he said: “As the saying goes, you couldn’t write the script in terms of my last game being at Wembley.
“Obviously, I hope we finish on a winning note. It will be my fourth time at Wembley and I have not won yet.
“All the lads say, ‘You should not be going’ as I am a jinx. Hopefully I will break the spell at last.”
Circuit, who has worked with six different Millers managers – Ronnie Moore (twice), Mick Harford, Alan Knill, Mark Robins, Andy Scott and current boss Steve Evans – is in his second spell with the club and has made a multitude of friends among the club’s staff along the way.
He added: “I keep in touch with several including Alan Lee and bump into Ronnie now and again as he still lives locally.
“Another is Paul Warne, who still works with us and I am big friends with him.”
He added: “The New York Stadium is certainly different to Millmoor. We finished up in Portakabins at Millmoor at one bit as the dressing rooms needed so much doing to it. From where the club was now to then and what Tony Stewart has done is unreal.”
Along with Circuit, another familiar face to Millers fans also retires tomorrow in Sheffield Star journalist Les Payne, who has chronicled the fortunes of his home-town club for 45 years.