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Save Our Southend
Oct 26, 2003
Hockley now on loan to Rayleigh
am i right in thinking they have not been promoted or relegated in something like 30 seasons ?


Rochdale AFC was formed in 1907 and accepted into the Manchester League that year before joining the Lancashire Combination in 1908. After winning the League in 1911 Rochdale unsuccessfully applied to join the Football League, proposing the creation of a new Third Division. After the First World War the Football League was expanded and the club, again, unsuccessfully applied to join. Finally, in 1921, Rochdale were recommended to included in the new Third Division North, and played their first League game at home against Accrington Stanley on August 27, 1921, winning 6-3. However, this first season ended with the club bottom of the League, having to reapply for membership.

Recent History

The club have played since 1974 in the Football League's bottom division, currently entitled League Two. This is the longest time any team has been in the bottom division of the football league, with some even derisively renaming it "the Rochdale Division".[1] They reached the League Cup final in 1962 - the only time a club from the bottom league division has reached the final of a major competition - where they lost to Norwich City. The club barely avoided relegation in the 2003-04 season after two good seasons where they ended up one point outside the play-offs (8th place) and two places inside (5th place). However, they lost their play-off semi-final to Rushden & Diamonds.

The season after this they reached the Fifth Round of the FA Cup, beating clubs such as Preston North End and Coventry City, but losing eventually to Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-1. In the 2004-05 season the club improved on previous seasons by finishing in a respectable 9th place. In 2005-06, the club finished in 14th, despite an excellent start to the season which saw them in the playoff places in December. This disappointment prompted the manager Steve Parkin to release 6 players from the first team squad before the last league match against Lincoln City.

Steve Parkin had two spells at the Rochdale helm. The first reign lasted from the summer of 1998 until November 2001, when he moved to Barnsley - being sacked after less than a year.

When Alan Buckley was sacked in late 2003, Parkin was re-appointed and remained in charge until his sacking.

His assistant Tony Ford was a regular player for Rochdale in the autumn of 2001, by which time he was 41 years old and one of the oldest and most experienced men ever to kick a football at senior level. But he hung up his boots after following Parkin to the dugout at Barnsley.

Rochdale entered a new era, with David Kilpatrick stepping down as Dale chairman, and Chris Dunphy taking over, and Rochdale are surely in for an interesting ride. Parkin made his first signing of the 2006/2007 summer in the shape of 21 year old left-winger Adam Rundle; with a squad so small at this moment in time, more signings were needed, notably defenders Nathan Stanton, Lee Crooks and Lewis Edge whilst missing out on the likes of Lawrie Dudfield, Michael Branch and Rory McArdle.

Rochdale then suffered a major blow on the eve of the transfer window. Despite being offered a wage reported around £2,000 a week, Rickie Lambert who was top scorer for Rochdale in the previous season scoring 22, was sold to Bristol Rovers for £200,000. This transfer fee freed up wage money, and Parkin wasted no time adding three new players to his small squad. Former Torquay striker Morike Sako and defender James Sharp were signed on short term contracts and Keith Barker was in drafted in on loan from Blackburn Rovers.

Making their debut in the 1-1 draw with Hereford United, the new signings impressed and so started the best run of form this season for the Dale. This included the 5-0 demolition job at Darlington and the impressive 2-1 win at Wrexham AFC. Unfortunately the run of form was brought to an abrupt end by Lincoln City who embarrassed Rochdale 7-1. This was followed by a disappointing performance to local sides Stockport County and Bury.

After yet more poor performances by the Dale, and a run culminating in 8 wins from over 50 outings, Steve Parkin was sacked as Rochdale manager in December 2006, the Saturday after a 1-0 defeat to Hartlepool United. Keith Hill was quickly appointed as caretaker boss.

Rochdale subsequently gained 7 points for 4 matches under Hill's guidance, including two consecutive 4-0 victories (home to Boston United and away at Grimsby Town). On 3 January 2007, the board of directors then appointed Hill as the permanent manager until the end of the season

On March 24th 2007 Rochdale emphatically ended close rivals, Stockport's long unbeaten home run, with a 7-2 victory at Edgeley Park.

Dale ended the 06-07 season in 9th position, just a few points away from a playoff place. The club now enter their centenary year in an optimistic mood, and begin with pre-season home friendlies against Oldham Athletic and Huddersfield Town on 24 June and 28 June respectively. On 11 May 2007, manager Keith Hill released defender Mark Jackson and striker Clive Moyo-Modise, whilst offering contracts to six first teamers and six youth players.

Once the transfer window opened again, Hill wasted no time in signing former Bury left-back Tom Kennedy, Stockport 'keeper James Spencer and Bradford City winger Ben Muirhead, who had played for Rochdale in the 06-07 season and returned to the club on permanent terms. Rochdale also signed Nathan D'Laryea, released from Man City and former Oldham Athletic striker Kallum Higginbotham. Rochdale also made some changes in the backroom staff - Chris Beech replaced Chris Willcock as head of youth development, and Tony Ellis, a former Dale legend, has been employed as head of the Centre of Excellence. Rochdale now have much of the squad signed and ready for a pre-season tour of Cadiz, Spain.

On May 17th 2008, Rochdale secured a place in the League Two play-off final at Wembley stadium for the first time in the clubs history, by defeating Darlington F.C. in a penalty shoot-out by 5-4. The match ended 3-3 over the two legs.



Oct 23, 2003
Otley, West Yorks
I love the Rochdale away games -- the little chippy in a front room of someone's house and a visit to the Church, the pub with the crown green bowling green in it's back garden right next to the ground.


Dec 3, 2005
would be good to see Rochdale go up, not sure the fans there would know how to celebrate tho having not experienced it for such a long time.


Dec 3, 2005
wouldn't mind stockport either but just for the no promotion for 30 odd years i'm swayed towards Rochdale, that and every time i've been there(6 visits) we've won bar once and that was the end of season draw.