He’s the grumpiest man in football, with a heart as hard as one of his tackles, but defender Kirk Broadfoot is in danger of feeling a touch of Christmas cheer.
The Rotherham United centre-half is close to a comeback after being out of action since back surgery in August.
Interim boss Paul Warne believes the man the Championship Millers have badly missed in a season of struggle could be available for the busy festive programme of fixtures.
“He’s a really bad loser. He cannot stop moaning,” Warne revealed. “ We’ve just had lunch and he was moaning that he’d been fined for something and he refuses to pay.
“He was moaning about Greg Halford’s cakes for his birthday not being up to the usual standard. He just moans, moans, moans.
“He is the unhappiest man in football. But he’s a winner, I’ll give him that. I think the world of him, so I hope he’s going to be back soon.”
Broadfoot hasn’t played since August 6 opening day and, without him, Rotherham, who travel to Sheffield Wednesday for a South Yorkshire derby tomorrow, have slipped to the foot of the table, 12 points adrift of safety.
But the 32-year-old, a cult figure with fans for the part he has played in the past two second-tier survival campaigns, turned out for the reserves last week and Warne reckons the Scot is only one more second-string game away from returning to the first-team fold.
“He is the archetypal sort of centre-half you want in your back four, especially the way we play,” the caretaker manager and ex-Millers player said.
“No disrespect, but our defenders have to do a lot of defending. You want your men there. Broady is a bit like Craig Morgan, a bit like Chris Swailes (both former Rotherham centre-backs). Proper men.
“Even if he isn’t playing that well himself, he pulls other people around. John Breckin (assistant manager) has said to the lads at training: ‘You can have a great game without even kicking a ball.’
“He’s a good organiser. I’ve joked with him that when I played I wouldn’t have wanted to play against him. There were some centre-halves where I thought ‘I can have a bit of a go at them’, but not with Broady.
“I think if I ran past him once, he’d clothes-line me the next time. He’s a bit ‘old school’ like that!”