Rotherham United Football Club

Rotherham United Football ClubIntroductionEarly Ye

A Football Report
Rotherham United Football Club

Rotherham United Football Club


Rotherham United, otherwise known as the Millers, was formed in 1870. The club is based in Yorkshire, their main rivals being Barnsley, Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United and Doncaster Rovers. The team play their home games at Millmoor.


Early Years

Rotherham United was the product of a merger of two clubs – Rotherham Town (founded in 1870 and known by this name since the 1880s) and Thornhill United (formed in 1877 and called Rotherham County since 1905). The Town amalgamated with Rotherham County to form Rotherham United in 1925.

The Millers wore an amber and black kit in 1925, before adopting their traditional red and white strip in 1928. The club was initially placed in the Football League Division Three North, but continually struggled to make an impact in the division with Billy Heald, Stanley Davies and Reg Freeman all holding the managerial position at Millmoor at various times during the 1920s and 1930s.

Lowly league finishes were common during this time, and there was no real aspiration to take the club to the next level. This was reflected in the fact a mere sixth place finish in the 1937/38 season was the highlight of a poor period for the club, before World War Two intervened in 1939.

Post-World War Two

After football resumed in 1946, the club’s fortunes changed dramatically. Rotherham finished as Division Three North runners-up for three consecutive seasons, before becoming champions in the 1950/51 season. Andy Smailes took charge in 1952, as Rotherham made a solid start to life in Division Two.

After a remarkable 1954/55 season, the Millers finished the campaign in third place. The team was narrowly denied promotion after missing out on the league title and the second promotion place on goal average. Smailes was unable to take the team any further, and was eventually replaced by Tom Johnston in 1958.

Rotherham battled relegation during Johnston’s first season in charge, but managed to secure a 20th place finish. Three mid-table finishes then followed, as the Millers tried to force their way into Division One. Perhaps the highlight of the period came in 1960 though, when the team reached the League Cup final, only losing 3-2 on aggregate to Aston Villa. Danny Williams and Jack Mansell both then had spells as Rotherham’s boss, but neither manager was able to achieve that elusive promotion.

Slide to Division Four

Rotherham’s slide down the leagues began when Tommy Docherty was appointed manager in 1967. The Millers lost their battle with relegation during Docherty’s first and only season at Millmoor, and were stranded in Division Three.

Jimmy McAnearney was brought in to restore Rotherham’s Division Two Status. Unfortunately, McAnearney had a disappointing five-year tenure at the club, and this culminated in another relegation for the Millers in the 1972/73 season.

Jimmy McGuigan became the next manager at Rotherham following the club’s relegation. He guided the Millers back to Division Three, after a third place finish in 1975, and nearly took Rotherham back into Division Two, but the club was denied promotion on goal average in the 1976/77 campaign.

Ian Porterfield then took over from Jimmy McGuigan in 1979. Porterfield had a steady first season at the club, before ensuring that the Millers were crowned Division Three champions in 1981.

Continued problems at Millmoor

Porterfield chose to leave Millmoor after the promotion, and Emlyn Hughes took over the vacant position. Hughes looked to be the right man to take the club forward, as Rotherham were again one of the promotion chasing sides during his first season. His second proved to be his last however, as the Millers were once again relegated to Division Three.

After a five-year period of consolidation in Division Three, Rotherham suffered relegation once more during the 1987/88 season. Billy McEwan took over and with considerable success, as he led the club to the Division Four league title in his first season in charge. A comfortable ninth place finish the following season proved to be a false dawn though, as Rotherham were relegated in 1991.

Phil Henson took charge of a struggling Rotherham side in the summer of 1991. Henson had an immediate impact at the club, as the Millers were promoted after finishing Division Four runners-up. Division Three was then re-designated as Division Two after the formation of the FA Premier League. Henson left the club in 1994, after leading Rotherham to a 15th place finish.

The managerial team of Archie Gemmill and John McGovern had little success at Millmoor, as Rotherham once again struggled to find form in the league. Danny Bergara became the next manager in 1996, but was given little time to turn the club’s fortunes. The team was ultimately relegated, and Bergara lost his job at the club.

The Ronnie Moore Years

Ronnie Moore took charge in 1997, with little expectation surrounding the club. However, Moore guided the Millers to the play-offs in the 1998/99 season, where they narrowly lost 4-2 on penalties following two goalless draws with Leyton Orient.

The success continued under Moore, after the Millers were promoted twice in successive seasons. The team survived a relegation battle during the 2001/02 season, after finishing in 21st place. The Millers were able to maintain their Division One status for a further four seasons, before succumbing to relegation in 2005, with Ronnie Moore also resigning during their relegation campaign.

Recent times

Alan Knill took over in December 2005, before eventually being sacked in March 2007. Rotherham were deducted 10 points during the 2006/07 season due to their financial difficulties. This made the task of saving the Millers from relegation almost an impossible one. Mark Robins became the next manager at the club, as the club was inevitably relegated.

The Millers are currently third in the table, following a positive first half of the season. With promotion a realistic possibility, fans are hoping that the team can push on and achieve that promotion in 2008.

Club Honours

  • Football League Division Two – Runners-up (2000/01)
  • Football League Division Three Winners (1980/81), Runners-up (1999/2000)
  • Football League Division Three North – Winners (1950/51), Runners-up (1946/47, 1947/48, 1948/49)
  • Football League Division Four – Winners (1988/89), Runners-up (1991/1992)
  • FA Cup (best season) – 5th Round (1953, 1968)
  • Football League Cup – Finalists (1961)
  • Auto Windscreens Shield – Winners (1996)

Club Records

  • Record League Victory 8-0 (v Oldham Athletic, Division Three North, 26 May 1947)
  • Record Defeat – 1-11 (v Bradford City, Division Three North, 25 August 1928)
  • Highest Scorer in Season Wally Ardron (38, Division Three North, 1946/47)
  • Most League Goals in Total Aggregate – Gladstone Guest (130, 1946-1956)
  • Most League Appearances – Danny Williams (459, 1946-1962)
  • Record Transfer Fee Received – £900,000 (from Cardiff City for Alan Lee, August 2003)
  • Record Transfer Fee Paid – £150,000 (to Millwall for Tony Towner, August 1980; to Port Vale for Lee Glover, August 1996; to Burnley for Alan Lee, September 2000; to Reading for Martin Butler, September 2003)

Contact and Ticket Information

For club enquiries and tickets contact:

Millmoor Football Ground
Millmoor Lane
S60 1 HR
Tel: 08714 23 1884, (Ticket office) 0870 443 1884

For ticket information online, see the Club Website.

Travel Information

By Road

Leave the M1 at Junction 34, and take the A6109 towards Rotherham. Turn right at the large roundabout, which is the junction with the A629. Proceed along the A629, crossing a small roundabout. At the second, much larger roundabout, turn right and you will see the ground over on your right. You can see the floodlights of the ground some distance away.

By Train

The ground is walkable from Rotherham train station. Turn left out of the station, and walk towards the roundabout. Then follows signs for Rotherham United FC.