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Title: ... p109 - Gavin Miller comments on Hull KR days by Roger Smelt, England

He was not born with a nose like that – it had been hammered into shape over many matches


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Roger Smelt, England




Gavin Miller was undoubtedly one of the hardest men to play rugby league. He was not born with a nose like that – it had been hammered into shape over many matches by many people who professed to be hard men.

Gavin Miller was unknown in the UK until he was signed by Hull Kingston Rovers in the mid 80’s. I know, my father Brian Smelt, along with Roger Millward and Colin Hutton were responsible for signing (as was then) an unknown Aussie to play for a club who had high demands. My farther Brian Smelt had a request from Hull RK for a forward, the long and short of it – he and Gavin tied a deal that would see one of the best, most entertaining, hardest, grueling seasons for club and team alike.

Not the tallest, not the widest men on the pitch, but my god, one of the most feared rugby players. I remember seeing one match where an opponent ran away from Gavin in fear of the ferocious tackles he is renound for. Needless to say he caught is pray and delivered that legendary stiff shoulder (with arm wrapping around the body). Some like to call it a “swinging arm”. However the technique was to throw the arm out and hit hard with the shoulder, then wrap the arm around to complete the tackle. When hit by Miller – the opposition knew about it… after sever doses of smelling salts.

One of the greatest rugby players to have played for Hull KR. Not every liked or agreed with Gavin Miller, was happy with his approach or technique. But the same was said of Churchill – yet Churchill was responsible for guiding Britain to a successful victory in the Second World War. Miller guided Hull KR to one of their most successful periods in rugby league history, also under the guidance of Roger “magic” Millward, I might add.

If you want to see footage of absolute dedication to a sport/ team to win at all cost and to physically push the human body to extremes, I’d suggest sitting down to watch a match with Gavin Miller as loose foreward.

Off the pitch, as with most rugby league professionals, he was a gentlemen.

Appears in the following pages ....P109_Gavin MILLER
Date of posting ... 07-May-2007
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