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Rotherham United

Rotherham United

Nickname The Millers
Web Site
Stadium Millmoor

Rotherham Football Club was established in 1870 and later became Rotherham Town. Local rivals Thornhill was formed in 1877 and renamed themselves Rotherham County. They were elected to the Football League in 1919. In 1925 Rotherham Town and Rotherham County merged and Rotherham United was the chosen name. Rotherhams nickname in 'The Millers' on account of them playing home games at the Millmoor Stadium.

The Millers played in Division Three (North) until 1951 when they were promoted to Division Two. They remained in Division Two for 17 years until relegation put them back in the third tier. Five seasons later they were relegated once more and entered the Fourth Division for the first time in their history.

Rotherham United have never won a major trophy or played in the top flight of English football. They finished third in the second division in 1955 and narrowly missed promotion as only two teams were promoted. In that season they finished level on points with Birmingham City and Luton Town but had an inferior goal difference. In 1961 they reached the first ever League Cup final but were beaten by Aston Villa. In 1996 they won the Auto Windscreen Shield by beating Shrewsbury Town 2-0 in the final at Wembley. Loan striker Nigel Jemson was the hero as he scored both goals.

In 1981 Rotherham were champions of the third flight and gained promotion to the Second Division. They finished narrowly above local rivals Barnsley and recorded a double victory over Sheffield United which saw The Blades relegated to the Fourth Division. Little were The Millers to know that in the future both clubs would come to their rescue.

Ronnie Moore has been one of the most successful Managers of the club. He was appointed in 1997 after a relegation season that saw Rotherham tumble to the fourth flight. In his second season in charge The Millers reached the play-offs but were defeated. The following season they finished runners-up and gained automatic promotion. Rotherham started the 2000/01 season as relegation favourites but confounded the critics by finishing runners-up and thus earned a successive promotion. The team lasted for four seasons in the second flight before being relegated. In the 2004/5 season Ronnie Moore resigned and was replaced by Mick Harford. Harford saw a disastrous run of seventeen games without victory and was replaced by Alan Knill who had previously been caretaker manager.

In 2006 Rotherham announced they were in danger of ceasing to exist. The club was operating on a loss and the spending gap had to be bridged. Unfortunately the club could not go into administration (like many other clubs) as they had no assets of value. Usually the value of the ground is taken into consideration but Millmoor had previously been used to clear a large debt and Rotherham were no longer the owners. The answer was to launch an appeal to save the club. Rotherhams near neighbours, and usual rivals, have all contributed to an extent. Sheffield United loaned two players to Rotherham and continued to pay their wages so it wasn't an expense for the Millers. Barnsley waived all the fees for the loan signing of Barry Conlon so that hey could afford to play him. Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday, Barnsley and Doncaster all made financial contributions either directly from the club or by collections by the fans in a bid to save the club. Rotherham were eventually saved when a consortium of local businessmen stepped in with finances and a development plan.

On the final day of the 2005/6 season Rotherham had a game with MK Dons. This was to be the relegation decider with The Dons needing victory. A 0-0 draw saw Rotherham avoid relegation by a whisker and MK Dons went down. The close of the season was dogged by controversy as Rotherham had postponed a Company Voluntary Arrangement regarding their finances. If they had submitted the Agreement they would have been deducted 10 points and would have been relegated in place of MK Dons (regardless of the result of the game). Instead, they started the 2006/7 season on minus 10 points . but still in the third flight.

Rotherham United Memorabilia
Rotherham United Books

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