ROTHERHAM UNITED FOOTBALL CLUB
 
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ROTHERHAM UNITED FOOTBALL CLUB
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Rotherham United play in red shirts with white sleeves and white shorts. Their home ground is Millmoor which, from it's opening in 1907 had been the ground of Rotherham County (formed in 1877 as Thornhill).

In 1925 County amalgamated with Rotherham Town (formed in 1870 as Rotherham) and became known as Rotherham United, their nickname - the Millers - being taken from the name of the ground.

As Rotherham United the club started life in 1925 in the Third Division (North). They finished fourteenth that season and remained in the same division until 1951.

The 1950's

The 1950's could not have started better for the Millers - they were promoted to the Second Division having won the Division 3 (North) Championship by a margin of seven points. No one could say the promotion was not deserved. The club had finished sixth in 1949/50 and runners-up in the three previous seasons (in those days only the top club in the two regional third divisions was promoted).

Rotherham proved worthy of their Division 2 place, holding on to it (albeit occasionally narrowly) until the late 1960's. In 1954/55 they came heartbreakingly close to promotion, finishing third on goal average. Their best FA Cup achievement in this decade was the fifth round in 1953 losing 3-1 at home to Aston Villa.

The 1960's

Despite twice finishing in seventh position Rotherham were unable to maintain their Division 2 Place to the end of the decade. Relegation came when they finished second bottom in 1967/8 ending a 17 year unbroken run in this division. They were now to spend a lengthy period in the Third and (briefly) Fourth Divisions.

In cup terms the club's best performance was again one appearance in the FA Cup Fifth Round. This was in the relegation season 1967/8 and they were knocked out losing 2-0 at Leicester City. However The Millers seemed to take to the newly introduced Football League Cup. In it's first season they reached the final, being beaten 3-2 on aggregate over the two legs by First Division Aston Villa. They also reached the Quarter Final in both 1961/2 and 1963/4.

The 1970's

After relegation in 1968 Rotherham spent the early 1970's in Division 3 but despite finishing fifth in 1971/2, the following season saw them drop to the Fourth Division for the first time. They were relegated on goal average having finished fourth from the bottom.

Their stay was brief however. Promotion came after just two seasons when they finished in third place.

The 1970's were miserable from a cup point of view. Being in one or other of the bottom two divisions they joined the FA Cup in the first round and only once progressed beyond the third round (fourth round in 1972). There was a similar lack of success in the League Cup.

The 1980's

Early success came in the form of promotion to Division 2, winning the Third Division under the managership of Ian Porterfield. Porterfield left the club in the summer of 1981 however to join Sheffield United. He was relaced by Liverpool and England star, the late Emlyn Hughes. His first season was a good one with club finishing seventh, only four points off a promotion spot.

Unfortunately this form was not maintained the following season and relegation resulted. Five unspectacular seasons in Division 3 ended with another relegation to Division 4 but they bounced back the following season winning the Championship in the process and finished the 1980's in Division 3.

Save for a League Cup quarter final in 1984 the 1980's were barren years in the cups.

The 1990's

After just two years in Division 3 another relegation followed in 1991, but again it was just for one year. Following the introduction of the FA Premier League, the Division to which they were promoted was called The Barclays Second Division (old third Division). They spent four disappointing years at this level before yet another relegation to the bottom division - now called the Nationwide Division 3.

However, after this latest disappointment things were to improve with the appointment of former Rotherham player, Ronnie Moore as manager.

Ronnie Moore's reign started with steady progress, a ninth place finish in his first season followed by play off qualification in 1998/9 losing to Leyton Orient on penalties in the semi-final.

However this was followed by back to back promotions seeing the Millers reach the Nationwide Division 1 (old Division 2) at the end of the 2000/1 season.

2000 - Present Day

Rotherham had a poor start in the new division, not registering a win until their eleventh game. Nevertheless they rallied and managed to avoid relegation by one point.

Financial constraints at the club at this time meant that that there was very little available for strengthening the playing staff but they maintained there place in the division finishing seventeenth and fifteenth in the next two seasons. However it was widely accepted that they were over achieving and the 2004/5 season was a disaster. The club finished bottom 21 points behind the safety position.

There had been a change of ownership during the season and Ronnie Moore had left during the relegation struggle. He was replaced by Mick Harford who lost his position in December 2005 after a long run of games without a win.

Against the odds, caretaker manager Alan Knill managed to avoid relegation and was appointed permanent manager.

2005/6 was a struggle both on and off the pitch. Financial problems meant doubts about the club's survival and even whether they would finish the season. Local clubs and supporters rallied round to provide some financial aid and a group of local businessmen offered substantial investment in the club.

Despite this, the club had to go into administration meaning that they would start the following season (2006/7) with a ten point penalty. Fortunately, and again against the odds, the club narrowly avioded relegation so if the points deduction in the present season brings about relegation it will at least be to Division 2 rather than out of the Football League. However their excellent start to the season gives them a chance of surviving despite the penalty.

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