Called to arms Bobby Mimms is seeking Millmoor happy returns tomorrow.

Mimms is back in the York City goal in a bout of unexpected duty which also takes him back to Rotherham United, scene of his Football League start 405 games and 17 years ago.

Top of the stops for Mimms now is to help to halt City's streak of three consecutive reverses.

The 35-year-old Mimms donned the gloves again on Bank Holiday Monday, drafted in as City sought to safeguard teenager Russ Howarth in the aftermath of the 6-3 mauling at Barnet.

City's management team, of which Mimms is an integral part, insisted Howarth had done nothing wrong to merit exclusion.

His omission from the visit of Northampton was purely protection, hence Mimms' promotion from coaching and reserves' football to the senior spotlight.

The York-born goalkeeper, who left the city as a teenager to seek fame and fortune as a number one first at Rotherham, revealed it was not his wish to be playing on a regular basis.

He preferred to concentrate on coaching and nurturing the talent of Howarth, whom he rates as one of the best young prospects he has encountered.

"It was no secret the club are looking to bring in another 'keeper. I would only come back in a situation like this or if Russ got injured," said Mimms.

"But I am registered for playing and I have been prepared since before the start of the season.

"I have kept myself fit enough and I am good enough to play. I enjoyed every minute of the game against Northampton, except for their goal of course."

Mimms stressed it would not be long before England Under-16 international Howarth returned as first-choice.

"Russ got his chance because he was the best goalkeeper in the club in the close-season. He has not done a thing wrong," said Mimms. "That he has come out is not down to him, it's to do with performing and defending better as a team.

"Russ has been magnificent in every game, but we have got to look after him as he is only 17. He is a great prospect and it won't be long before he is back in the side."

As he contemplated a return to a club, for whom he made 126 appearances in two distinct spells at the start and near the close of his career, he was expecting a mixed reception.

After making his bow for Emlyn Hughes' Rotherham in the 1981-82 season he was another three terms at Millmoor before a £175,000 move to Everton.

There then followed ten seasons at the top level and outings with Sunderland, Tottenham, Manchester City and a promotion to the Premiership with Blackburn Rovers before shipping up again at Millmoor.

"There might be a different reception from the younger fans as opposed to the older ones who remember what I did when I was first at the club," said Mimms.

The Mimms household will be well represented at Millmoor. The City 'keeper's two sons, Bradley aged 12, and ten-year-old Josh, are both at the Merry Millers' school of excellence as...goalkeepers.

Tomorrow's Teams: Division Three at Millmoor

ROTHERHAM UNITED from Pollitt, Warner, Varty, Dillon, Scott, Thompson, Watson, Garner, Turner, Fortune-West, Berry, Pettinger, Hurst, Wilsterman, Hudson, Sedgwick, Ingledow.

YORK CITY from Mimms, Hocking, Thompson, Jordan, Jones, Fairclough, Fox, Atkins, J Williams, Rowe, Hall, Bullock, Howarth, Dixon, Garratt, Rennison.

In 28 past League visits to Millmoor, City have chalked up six wins and five draws

They won 5-2 on their first ever trip to Rotherham in March 1930, and other successes have been 1-0 in 1931-32, 2-1 in 1972-73, and 1-0 in 1987-88 and 1988-89

The heaviest defeats on this ground were 6-1 in 1946-47 and 5-0 in 1935-36

Among a number of players to have represented both clubs are Jimmy Rudd, Peter Wragg, Barry Lyons, Ian Butler, Steve Spooner, Nigel Pepper, Ray Warburton, and Paul Stancliffe.

Converted for the new archive on 30 June 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.