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Rotherham United Football Club Logo
|Full name||Rotherham United Football Club|
|Ground||New York Stadium|
|2012–13||League Two, 2nd|
|Website||Club home page|
Rotherham United Football Club Logo
|Full name||Rotherham United Football Club|
|Ground||New York Stadium|
|2012–13||League Two, 2nd|
|Website||Club home page|
Rotherham United Football Club, nicknamed The Millers, is an English professional football club based in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, that competes in League One, the third tier in the English football league system. The club's colours have traditionally been red and white, although these have evolved through history. The kits are designed by Puma. The current home strip is red and white; with the Metropolitan Borough of Rotherham's coat of arms on the right of the shirt to commemorate the clubs return home, and their away kit is Grey. The club play its home games at New York Stadium, having played for more than a century at Millmoor.
The club has spent the majority of its history in the Football League's third tier, though its most successful period in recent years found the Millers competing in the old 2nd division which is now Football League Championship during the 1950s where they finished 3rd in the league, they reached the Football league championship in the early 2000s. It has also enjoyed more recent success, reaching the League Two Play Off Finals at Wembley Stadium in May 2010, and gaining automatic promotion after finishing runners-up in Football League Two in 2012–13.
The club's roots go back to 1870, when the club was formed as Thornhill Football Club (later Thornhill United). George Cook was the trainer around this time. For many years the leading team in the area was Rotherham Town F.C., who spent three seasons in the Football League while Thornhill United were still playing in the Sheffield & Hallamshire League. By the turn of the century, however, Rotherham Town had resigned from the Football League and gone out of business; a new club of the same name later joined the Midland League. Meanwhile, Thornhill's fortunes were on the rise to the extent that in 1905 they laid claim to being the pre-eminent club in the town and changed their name to Rotherham County. For a period both clubs competed in the Midland League, finishing first and second in 1911–12. Over time it became clear that to have two professional clubs in the town was not sustainable. Talks had begun in February 1925 and in early May the two clubs merged to form Rotherham United. Days later the reformed club was formally re-elected under its new name.
The red and white was adopted around 1928 after playing in amber and black, but there was no improvement in the club's fortunes: in 1931 they again had to apply for re-election. Immediately after the Second World War things looked up. United finished as runners-up three time in succession between 1947 and 1949 and then were champions of Division Three (North) in 1951. Rotherham reached their highest ever league position of third in the Football League Second Division in 1955, when only goal average denied them a place in the top flight after they finished level on points with champions Birmingham City and runners-up Luton Town. The club held on to its place in Division Two until 1968 and then went into a decline that took them down to Division Four in 1973. In 1975 they were promoted back to the Third Division winning the championship. The Millers won the Division Three title in 1981.
Rotherham had a dismal first half of the 1981–82 season but a surge after the turn of 1982 saw them emerge as promotion contenders for the first time in nearly 30 years. This season saw the Millers beat Chelsea 6–0 at home (31 November 1981) and 4–1 away at Stamford Bridge (20 March 1982) and Is considered by many to be Rotherhams' greatest all-time league 'double'. This was the first season of 3 points for a win rather than 2 in the league, and in the end they missed out on promotion by 4 points and finishing seventh. They have not finished this high ever since.
During the 1990s Rotherham were promoted and relegated between the Football League's lowest two divisions and they slipped into the Fourth Division in 1991, just two years after being promoted, but reclaimed their status in the third tier (renamed Division Two for the 1992–93 season due to the launch of the FA Premier League) by finished third in the Fourth Division in 1992. They survived at this level for five years, never looking like promotion contenders, before being relegated in 1997.
In 1996 Rotherham United made their first trip to Wembley, beating Shrewsbury 2–1 to win the Football League Trophy, with two goals from Nigel Jemson giving Rotherham the win, with over 20,000 Rotherham United fans following them.
In 1997, just after relegation to Division Three, Ronnie Moore took charge of Rotherham United. His first season ended in a mid-table finish and then his second in a play-off semi-final defeat on penalties to Leyton Orient. It was third time lucky in 1999–2000 as Rotherham finished as Division Three runners-up and gained promotion to Division Two. They were favourites to be relegated in 2000–01 season, but surprised many by finishing runners-up in Division Two and gaining a second successive promotion. Famously, the Millers beat Brentford 2–1 at a sold-out Millmoor Stadium, with Alan Lee scoring the winner, sealing promotion. During this successful campaign, Rotherham also beat Premiership side Southampton in the FA Cup.
Rotherham managed to remained in Division One for four seasons, the most successful of which was the 2002–03 campaign. The Millers were in contention for a play-off place, but dropped off near the season's end to finish 15th, their lowest position all season. During their time in the Championship they managed some notable victories including two wins against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough and a home win against West Ham United. The second season saw them finishing 17th with the highlight of the season a 1–1 draw with Arsenal in the League Cup at Highbury. During the 2004–05 season, the club struggled and spent most of the season bottom of the league.
After relegation to League One in 2005, Mick Harford took over as Millers manager, but was sacked after a run of 17 games without a win. Harford was replaced by youth team coach, Alan Knill. Early in 2006 it was announced that the club faced an uncertain future unless a funding gap in the region of £140,000 per month could be plugged. An eleventh-hour intervention by a consortium of local businessmen kept them in business. The final match of the 2005–06 season, home to MK Dons, was a winner-take-all relegation showdown where a scoreless draw kept Rotherham up. Rotherham United began their second successive year in League One with a 10-point deficit as a result of the CVA which saved the club from liquidation. The club initially pulled the points back but, after losing key playmaker Lee Williamson and star striker Will Hoskins in the January transfer window, the Millers sat 13 points adrift of safety, making the threat of relegation inevitable. This resulted in Knill being sacked on 1 March, with Mark Robins becoming caretaker manager.
Robins's position was made permanent on 6 April 2007, but he was not able to save Rotherham from relegation. The Millers spent the majority of the 2007–08 season in the automatic promotion places but in mid-March 2008 it was revealed that Rotherham had again entered administration and would be deducted 10 points. Local businessman Tony Stewart then took over as Chairman for the 2008–09 season and took the club out of administration via a Creditors Voluntary Agreement, resulting in a 17-point deduction. The Millers were subsequently forced to leave Millmoor, their home of over 100 years, for the Don Valley Stadium in Sheffield, after disputes with the landlords. The Millers had a successful season under the new regime, wiping out the point deficit and being in contention for a play-off place. Rotherham were also involved in two cup runs, reaching the Football League Trophy Northern Final and the League Cup last 16. This included victories over higher league opposition in the form of Wolverhampton Wanderers, Southampton, Sheffield Wednesday, Leicester City and Leeds United. Mark Robins kept the majority of the team together from the 2008–09 campaign, whilst bolstering his squad with high calibre signings in the form of Nicky Law, and the prolific goalscorer, Adam le Fondre. The 2009–10 season started well until Mark Robins controversially departed to rivals Barnsley in September. Robins left the Millers at the top of the league.
Ex manager Ronnie Moore was reappointed on Friday 25 September 2009; Jimmy Mullen later being confirmed as his assistant. Ronnie led the club to their first ever play-off final and first trip to the new Wembley Stadium. Despite the occasion, this game ended in a disappointing 3–2 loss. On 22 March 2011, following poor form and a run of 5 games without a win (including a 5–0 defeat to Chesterfield), Moore and his assistant Jimmy Mullen left Rotherham by mutual consent, with Andy Liddell placed in temporary charge. Liddell's first game in temporary charge of the club was a superb 6–0 victory at eventually relegated Lincoln City.
Despite Chairman, Tony Stewart stating that Liddell would be in charge for the remainder of the season, he moved to appoint Andy Scott as the new club manager, following several disappointing results. During the close season, Andy Scott released 13 of the millers squad, surprisingly including key members of the team. Scott announced that there would be several "marquee" signings to improve the quality of the team, and brought in several players from divisions higher, including Schofield, Raynes, Pringle and Grabban. After an impressive start to the season, results steadily declined; Andy Scott was subsequently sacked on 19 March 2012 after a defeat to Oxford left the Millers with all but a very slim chance of reaching the Play Offs.
Chairman Tony Stewart had over 40 applicants for the managers vacancy, including former Premier League and Championship managers, but appointed Steve Evans on 9 April 2012. Despite winning five of their last nine games since Andy Scott's dismissal, Rotherham still finished 5 points outside the play offs.
The 2012–13 season signalled a new era for Rotherham United as the club returned to playing home matches in Rotherham, at the newly built New York Stadium. With the team looking the strongest it had done for years, the two factors seemed appropriate to add up and result in promotion. But it wasn't that straight forward. Despite demolishing Burton Albion on 18 August 2012 on the opening day, and a 4–0 victory over Bradford City, the forthcoming months only saw inconsistent form. There were big defeats, and scalp claiming cup victories along the way, but with the club's main goal of promotion seemingly slipping away from its grasp, some fans called for the sacking of Steve Evans. But all was not lost, results began picking up and teams were falling, including more local derby victories. As the team gradually increased their position in the League, only a record breaking 5 games in a row winning streak and other results going their way, would see Rotherham promoted. Against all the odds, the Millers became the first team in that season to win 5 games in a row, claiming 15/21 points that month. Rival teams slipped up allowing Rotherham to storm past them, and with Port Vale (a team who had been second or first all season) failing to win on the final day, they managed to climb into second and claim the runners up spot behind Gillingham, as on 27 April 2013, Rotherham United sealed promotion from League Two to League One with a 2 – 0 victory over bottom of the table Aldershot Town.
The club's traditional home was Millmoor in Rotherham where the team played from 1907 to 2008. On one side of the ground is the site of the new Main Stand which remains unfinished. It was hoped that the 4,500 capacity stand which is single tiered, all seated and covered, would be completed sometime during the 2006–07 season, but this had not come to fruition by the time the ground became disused in 2008. On the other side of the ground is the Millmoor Lane Stand, which has a mixture of covered and open seating. Roughly each section on this side is about a third of the length of the pitch. The covered seating in the middle of this stand looks quite distinctive, with several supporting pillars and an arched roof. Both ends are former terraces, with several supporting pillars and have now been made all seated. The larger of the two is the Tivoli End, which was used by home fans. It was noticeable that the pitch slopes up towards this end. The ground also benefits from a striking set of floodlights, the pylons of which are some of the tallest in the country at approximately 124 feet high. Following the failure of the owners of the club and the owners of Millmoor to reach a lease agreement the club left for the Don Valley Stadium in Sheffield in 2008.
In January 2010 the club announced that their new stadium, later named the New York Stadium, would be built on the former Guest and Chrimes Foundry site in Rotherham town centre.  Preparation work on the site began in February 2010 to make way for the foundations to be put in place and for the old Guest and Chrimes factory to be knocked down to make way for the Stadium. Construction started in June 2011 and the first game played at the stadium was a pre-season match between Rotherham and Barnsley, held on 21 July 2012. The Millers won 2–1; the first goal in the stadium was scored by Jacob Mellis of Barnsley, and David Noble scored Rotherham's first goal in their new home. The New York Stadium made its league debut on 18 August 2012, in which Rotherham beat Burton Albion 3–0, Daniel Nardiello scoring the first competitive goal in the ground.
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
|Billy Heald||1925–29||Norman Hunter||1985–87|
|Stan Davies||1929–30||Dave Cusack||1987–88|
|Billy Heald||1930–33||Billy McEwan||1988–91|
|Reg Freeman||1934–52||Phil Henson||1991–94|
|Andy Smailes||1952–58||Archie Gemmill & John McGovern||1994–96|
|Tom Johnston||1958–62||Danny Bergara||1996–97|
|Danny Williams||1962–65||Ronnie Moore||1997–2005|
|Jack Mansell||1965–67||Mick Harford||2005|
|Tommy Docherty||1967–68||Alan Knill||2005–07|
|Jim McAnearney||1968–73||Mark Robins||2007–09|
|Jimmy McGuigan||1973–79||Ronnie Moore||2009–11|
|Ian Porterfield||1979–81||Andy Scott||2011–12|
|Emlyn Hughes||1981–83||Steve Evans||2012–present|
Football League One (Third Tier)
Football League Two (Fourth Tier)
Jamie Oliver adopted Rotherham as his 2nd team during filming of his Ministry of Food series, where he appeared at a game in a Rotherham United shirt. After the game he cooked up some food for the fans outside the stadium.
Both the home and away kits have different sponsors. The home kit sees a retained deal with local shopping centre Parkgate. "Parkgate Shopping Centre" (as appears on the shirt) is the leading sponsor in terms of appearances, having sponsored the club decades before. On the back, another retained deal has Perrys – which is a local car dealership, have their name scribed across the back of the neck area. The away kit is sponsored by TGB Sheds.