Dennis Nowell has been a backer of the planned memorial since it was first proposed last year - and now he has seen how his own face may be represented in the artwork.
But first, the borough has to complete the fundraising for the £130,000 that is needed to build the sculpture, with the money to come through a crowdfunding website.
Dennis came face to face with his stony likeness on the site where a scale model of the sculture can currently be seen in the Frenchgate Centre.
He worked at the pit for nearly 30 years before finally retiring in 1988.
"When I saw that the plan was about miners, of course I wanted to be involved. We should have had a memorial years ago, but it hasn't been done. There are thousands of miners who have already gone to their graves with no memorial.
"This will be for them, and the women who were at home for them. I don't think people know what we went through, from getting changed to going down on a steel rope. I think there are a lot who wouldn't do it today.
"I used to notice a lot of people had black marks on their face and arms. It was chippings of coal that had come off and stayed under the skin. Miners got killed at every pit. There were 87 at Markham Main alone, and many later died of industrial diseases like miners' lung.
"As a blacksmith, I used to do welding in shafts, dangling with a harness on., in freezing weather.
"I think this is a fitting memorial. Although I would also like a memorial with all the names of the miners who died in the collieries."
He is urging people to donate to the appeal to fund the memorial.
* Pledge online at www.doncastersminingstatue.org.uk.
* Send a cheque to Doncaster Council addressed to Doncaster Museum, Chequer Rd, Doncaster DN1 2AE.
* Cash donations will be accepted at Central Library, Doncaster Museum or Doncaster Civic Office.
* Make an in-kind contribution to any of the key elements to the project.