Former Aston Villa goalkeeper pays for 600 pints in generous relegation gesture

Rotherham United goalkeeper Viktor Johansson
Rotherham United goalkeeper Viktor Johansson has paid for 600 pints ahead of Saturday -Credit:PA

Former Aston Villa goalkeeper Viktor Johansson has made a remarkable gesture of gratitude to the Rotherham United fanbase ahead of the final day of the Championship season by paying for 600 pints in a local pub ahead of their welcoming of Cardiff City to the New York Stadium on Saturday.

The Millers have endured a miserable campaign in which they have been relegated back to League One without winning an away game and having claimed just four victories on home soil all season. Anyone who has watched the club, onto their third manager of the season in the returning Steve Evans, will tell you that keeper Johansson has been the pick of the bunch over the course of the campaign.

Johansson, 25, came through the ranks at Villa after joining from Hammarby in his native Sweden in 2015. The stopper never made a senior appearance for the Lions, instead being loaned out to non-league Alfreton Town during his late teens, and he went on to join Midlands rivals Leicester City in 2018. Only once he joined Rotherham in 2020 did his senior career have lift off - he's been a regular for the last four years and has made shy of 150 appearances.

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Despite the Millers' struggles this season, Johansson himself has attracted a bit of interest from elsewhere, but the beers bought for the supporters are clearly a 'thank you' and not necessarily a 'goodbye'. Rotherham supporter and fundraiser Kev Hughes revealed the gesture on social media.

As well as the pints, which were sure to put Johansson back anywhere between £2-3,000, a printed card containing a thank you message will also be handed to supporters in attendance. A signed shirt has also been offered up, to be won in a raffle, with the Rotherham Hospice set to benefit from the proceeds.

Kev posted: "At 9am this Saturday The @CutlersArms will open early at his request with a special treat for Millers Fans. The first 600 pints (1 per person) are being paid for by Viktor as a THANK YOU (Not Goodbye) for your support. Each drink comes with a card and a message written by Viktor, to the fans that you can save forever.

"This is something special, from someone special, so get down early, grab a beer and raise a glass to our Viking. There will also be a signed Viktor shirt on display behind the bar so dig deep and buy some raffle tickets please, all proceeds go to the Rotherham Hospice.

"This is an unbelievable gesture and show of appreciation for the support given to Viktor from the #rufc fans. Special shout out to Brett @ BSB Printing for the cards and the team at Cutlers for helping put this on. #thisisnotagoodbye"

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