Rotherham United F.C.

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Rotherham United
Rotherham United FC.png
Full name Rotherham United Football Club
Nickname(s) The Millers
Founded 27 May 1925; 90 years ago (27 May 1925)
Ground New York Stadium
Ground Capacity 12,021
Chairman Tony Stewart
Manager Eric Black (caretaker basis)
League The Championship
2014–15 The Championship, 21st
Website Club home page
Current season

Rotherham United Football Club, nicknamed The Millers,[1] is an English professional football club based in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, that competes in The Football League Championship, the second tier in the English football league system.

Founded in 1925 as a merger between Rotherham Town (1899) and Rotherham County (1870),[2] the club's colours were initially yellow and black, but later evolved into the more traditional red and white.[3] Rotherham United play their home games at New York Stadium, a 12,000 capacity all-seater stadium, having previously played since its foundation at Millmoor for 101 years. Joining the football league back in 1925, Rotherham spent the first 25 years of their time in Division Three North the lowest level of the Football league finally gaining promotion too Division Two at the end of the 1950/51 season(Championship).[4] They have never played in the top tier of the English Football League system.

The Millers featured in the inaugural League Cup final against Aston Villa in 1961,[5] and won the 1996 Football League Trophy. They also achieved two separate back to back promotions in 1999–2001 and 2012–2014.


The first Rotherham United kit (1925)

The club's roots go back to 1870,[6] when the club was formed as Thornhill Football Club (later Thornhill United).[6] George Cook was the trainer around this time. For many years the leading team in the area was Rotherham Town, 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, Town had resigned from the Football League and gone out of business; a new club of the same name later joined the Midland League.[6] 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 finishing in the 3rd promotion spot in the Fourth Division. 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)[7] and is considered by many to be Rotherham's 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.[8]

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.

Chart of historic table positions of Rotherham United in the League.

Rotherham managed to remained in Division One for four seasons, the most successful of which was the 2002–03 campaign their second season. 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 third 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.[9] 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,[10] 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.[11] 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.[12] 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,[13] with Andy Liddell placed in temporary charge.[14] 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.[citation needed] During the close season, Andy Scott released 13 of the millers squad, surprisingly including key members of the team.[15] 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.[16] 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 would be the first full season of Evans' tenure, as well as the first at the New York Stadium; a return back home to Rotherham. The season began with two comfortable home wins against Burton and Bradford, but the rest of the season was marred with inconsistent results. Initial aspirations of automatic promotion seemed unlikely with 5 games remaining. However, Rotherham won all of their remaining games, entering the automatic promotion zone after a 2–0 victory over Bradford City,.[17] A 2–0 win over consequently relegated Aldershot Town.[18] meant that Rotherham ended the season in second place, behind Gillingam, and ahead of Port Vale, who dropped to third.

In the 2013–2014 League One season, Rotherham gained a place in the League One play-offs after going through a 16-game unbeaten streak during the second half of the season, after a solid first half of the season. During this unbeaten streak, notable wins included a 6–0 win over Notts County,[19] a 3–0 win over promoted Brentford,[20] and a 3–1 victory over local rivals Sheffield United.[21] Rotherham's final day victory over Swindon Town[22] saw them leapfrog Preston North End into fourth place. They would subsequently play Preston in the play-offs. The away leg ended in a 1–1 draw where a 20th minute goal from Alex Revell was cancelled out by a wonder strike from Joe Garner.[23] In the second leg at the New York Stadium, Preston took an early lead, however, goals from Wes Thomas, Lee Frecklington and Kieran Agard sealed Rotherham's second play-off final at Wembley Stadium in four years.[24] Their opponents in the final were Leyton Orient, who took a 2–0 first half lead. However, two goals from Alex Revell early in the second half, one being a spectacular long range volley, brought Rotherham back into it. The game went to a penalty shoot-out, where two saves from Adam Collin secured a second successive promotion for the club.[25]

Rotherham endured a fairly negative Championship season in 2014–15, their first after a 9 year absence. Despite notable wins against Ipswich, Leeds and Wolves, the season was marred by inconsistent results, a very poor defensive record and numerous controversial refereeing decisions. The Millers would have been comfortably safe towards the end of the season, were it not for a Football League points deduction for fielding an ineligible player during their win at home to Brighton.[26] Farrend Rawson's loan had expired 2 days prior to the match, and despite the club insisting it was an external administrative error, they were subsequently thrown back into a relegation battle with Wigan Athletic and Millwall.[27] Safety was eventually secured in the penultimate game of the season, a 2–1 home victory against Reading, with Matt Derbyshire and Lee Frecklington scoring the goals.[28] The season ended away at Elland Road, with a 0–0 draw against Leeds United, where Rotherham manager Steve Evans promised to wear a sombrero.[29]


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.[30]

Whilst a new purpose-built community stadium was being built in Rotherham, the club relocated to the Don Valley Stadium in nearby Sheffield for four seasons from 2008–09 to 2011–12.

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.[31] [2] 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.[32] 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.[32] The New York Stadium made its league debut on 18 August 2012, in which Rotherham beat Burton Albion 3–0,[33] Daniel Nardiello scoring the first competitive goal in the ground.[33]


Current squad[edit]

As of 4 September 2015

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Northern Ireland GK Lee Camp
2 England DF Lewis Buxton
3 England DF Joe Mattock
4 Wales DF Danny Collins
5 Scotland DF Kirk Broadfoot
6 England DF Richard Wood
7 Scotland FW Chris Maguire
8 Republic of Ireland MF Lee Frecklington (captain)
9 England MF Danny Ward
10 Argentina FW Emmanuel Ledesma
11 Republic of Ireland MF Paul Green
14 Republic of Ireland MF Aidy White
15 England DF Greg Halford
No. Position Player
16 England DF Frazer Richardson
17 England MF Grant Ward (on loan from Tottenham Hotspur)
18 England FW Jordan Bowery
19 England FW Jonson Clarke-Harris
20 England DF Farrend Rawson (on loan from Derby County)
21 England GK Adam Collin
22 England DF Joe Newell
23 England DF Tom Thorpe
24 France MF Tony Andreu (on loan from Norwich City)
25 Belgium MF Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe (on loan from Norwich City)
27 England FW Matt Derbyshire
33 England MF Richard Smallwood
40 England FW Jerry Yates

Notable former players[edit]

See also Category:Rotherham United F.C. players.


Current team management[edit]

  • Manager: Eric Black (caretaker)
  • Assistant Manager: Vacant
  • First Team Coach: Eric Black
  • Goalkeeping Coach: Andy Dibble
  • Fitness Coach: Paul Warne
  • Physiotherapist: Mike Preston
  • Academy Manager: Garreth Barker
  • Head of Academy Coaching: Mike Sheron
  • Development Phase Lead Coach: Matthew Hamshaw
  • Foundation Phase Lead Coach: Chris Kirby
  • Academy Goalkeeper Coach: Andy Warrington
  • Head of Academy Physiotherapy: Adrian Littlejohn
  • Academy football analyst: Craig Hallam
  • Academy Psychologist: Sam Palmer
  • Academy Strength and Conditioning Coach: Ed Bruce
  • Hospitality: John Breckin

Former managers[edit]

Name Period Name Period
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 2012–2015
George Kerr 1983–85


Club honours[edit]


Football League One (Third Tier)

Football League Two (Fourth Tier)


FA Cup

Football League Cup

Football League Trophy

Club records[edit]

Board of directors and ownership[edit]

Famous fans[edit]

The Chuckle Brothers were appointed as honorary presidents of Rotherham United in 2007 in recognition of their contributions to the football club.[43]

Premier League and 2010 World Cup Final referee Howard Webb is a Rotherham fan.[44]

Chris Wolstenholme, who is bassist for popular British band Muse, is a Millers fan and has appeared on stage in a home shirt on occasion.[45]

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.[46] After the game he cooked up some food for the fans outside the stadium.


The naming rights to the stadium are currently owned by local multi-million pound company AESSEAL[47] The home kit is sponsored by local shopping centre Parkgate.[48] Both the away kit and third kit are sponsored by Balreed.[49][50]


  1. ^ Rotherham history at talkfootball.
  2. ^ Rotherham United History.
  3. ^ Rotherham United kit history.
  4. ^ Rotherham League History 1925 – Present.
  5. ^ League Cup history.
  6. ^ a b c Twydell, Dave (1991). Football League Grounds for a Change. pp. 290–298. ISBN 0-9513321-4-7. 
  7. ^ Football Archive\ESPN
  8. ^ Rotherham United. 360Football (6 April 2007).
  9. ^ Millers survival likely as new group takeover Rotherham United FC
  10. ^ Millers name Robins as new boss BBC Sport, 6 April 2007
  11. ^ Rotherham accept points penalty BBC Sport, 7 August 2008
  12. ^ Troubled League Two clubs on the brink The Guardian, 6 August 2008
  13. ^ "Ronnie Moore parts company with Rotherham". 
  14. ^ "Club Statement – Rotherham and Moore part company". Rotherham United official website. 22 March 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2011. 
  15. ^ "Fenton Shock Exit". Rotherham United website. July 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  16. ^ "New signings are quality". Rotherham United website. July 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  17. ^ "Millers rise to third place". BBC Sport. 
  18. ^ "Rotherham promoted to League One". BBC Sport. 
  19. ^ "Rotherham put six past County". BBC Sport. 
  20. ^ "Millers boost hopes of automatic promotion". BBC Sport. 
  21. ^ "Millers claim bragging rights". BBC Sport. 
  22. ^ "Rotherham finish fourth". BBC Sport. 
  23. ^ "Rotherham and Preston all square ahead of second leg". BBC Sport. 
  24. ^ "Rotherham heading to Wembley". BBC Sport. 
  25. ^ "Rotherham promoted to the Championship". BBC Sport. 
  26. ^ "Rotherham charged with fielding ineligible player". The Daily Mail. 
  27. ^ "Rotherham deducted 3 points by the football league". BBC Sport. 
  28. ^ "Rotherham secure Championship survival". BBC Sport. 
  29. ^ "Leeds 0 0 Rotherham". BBC Sport. 
  30. ^ "End of an era: Millmoor farewell for Rotherham". Yorkshire Post.
  31. ^ "Guest And Chrimes Confirmed". Rotherham United FC – MillersMAD.
  32. ^ a b "New Rotherham United stadium hosts first football match". BBC News Online. BBC. 22 July 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2012. 
  33. ^ a b "Rotherham 3–0 Burton Albion". BBC News Online. BBC. 18 August 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2012. 
  34. ^ "Rotherham 8–0 Oldham 1947". 
  35. ^ "Rotherham 6–0 Spennymoor". 
  36. ^ "Rotherham 6–0 Wolves". 
  37. ^ "Rotherham 6–0 Kings Lynn". 
  38. ^ "Rotherham 1–11 Bradford". Bradford City MAD. Retrieved 25 July 2013. 
  39. ^ Rotherham United Football Club.
  40. ^ Includes only those caps won whilst at Rotherham United
  41. ^ "Danny Williams". 
  42. ^ The Board Rotherham United FC
  43. ^ "Chuckle Brothers on tour". Rotherham United F.C. 20 February 2009. Archived from the original on 24 February 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2013. 
  44. ^ [1] Rotherham United FC
  45. ^ Chris Wolstenholme – A Millers 'MUSE'ings – Rotherham United FC – MillersMAD. (4 January 2010).
  46. ^ Channel 4 Food – Food shows, recipes, tips and top chefs – Channel4 – 4Food. Channel4 (4 September 2012).
  47. ^ Stadium Naming Deal.
  48. ^ Home shirt on sale.
  49. ^ Millers announce Balreed as away shirt sponsors. the
  50. ^ Third shirt announced. the

External links[edit]