Rotherham United F.C.

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Rotherham United F.C.
Rotherham United FC.svg
Full nameRotherham United Football Club
Nickname(s)The Millers
Founded27 May 1925;95 years ago (27 May 1925)
Ground New York Stadium
ChairmanTony Stewart
Manager Paul Warne
League League One
2020–21 Championship, 23rd of 24 (relegated)
Website Club website
Soccerball current event.svg Current season

Rotherham United Football Club, nicknamed The Millers, [1] is a professional association football club based in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England. The team will compete in League One, the third tier of the English football league system, in the 2021-22 season after finishing 23rd in the 2020-21 Championship.


Founded in 1925 as a merger between Rotherham County (1877) [2] and Rotherham Town (1899), the club's colours were initially yellow and black, but changed to the red and white around 1930. [3] Rotherham United play their home games at New York Stadium, a 12,004 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 the Third Division North, the lowest level of the Football League, finally gaining promotion to the Second Division at the end of the 1950–51 season. [4]

The Millers featured in the inaugural League Cup final in 1961, [5] won the 1996 Football League Trophy and the 1946 Football League North Cup. They also achieved two separate back to back promotions in 1999–2001 under Ronnie Moore and 2012–2014 under Steve Evans.


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The first Rotherham United kit (1925)

The club's roots go back to 1877, when the club was formed as Thornhill Football Club (later Thornhill United). [2] 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. [2] 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. Rotherham County became members of the second division of the Football league in 1919 whilst Rotherham Town failed to become elected to the third division northern section the following year. By 1925 County's fortunes had declined and they had to seek re-election to the third division. By this time it had become 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 to the Football League under its new name.

The red and white kit was adopted around 1930 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. The Millers won the only post-war edition of the Football League Third Division North Cup in 1946 beating Chester 5–4 on aggregate. They then 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. During that season they had notable results including a 6–1 win over Liverpool. In 1961 the Millers beat Aston Villa 2–0 at Millmoor in the inaugural League Cup final first leg; they lost the second leg 3–0 however at Villa Park. The second leg was played the season after due to Villa having a 'Congested Fixture List'. 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 the 1980-81 season, and missed out on a second consecutive promotion by four points, finishing seventh In the second tier (then Division 2) 1981-82. They have not finished this high since. [6] This season also saw Rotherham accomplish their highest-scoring second-tier league double, beating Chelsea 6-0 at home (31 October 1981) and 4-1 away at Stamford Bridge (20 March 1982). [7]

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 finishing 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. In 1999–2000 as Rotherham finished as Division Three runners-up and gained promotion to Division Two, where they finished runners-up and won a second successive promotion.

Chart of historic table positions of Rotherham United in the League. RotherhamUnitedFC League Performance.svg
Chart of historic table positions of Rotherham United in the League.

Rotherham managed to remain in Division One for four seasons, and after relegation to League One in 2005, Mick Harford took over as the 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 intervention at the latest possible time by a consortium of local businessmen kept them in business. [8] The final match of the 2005–06 season, home to Milton Keynes 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, [9] 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. [10] 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. [11] 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, leaving the Millers at the top of the league. Former manager Ronnie Moore replaced him and led the club to their first ever play-off final and first trip to the new Wembley Stadium, where they lost 3–2 loss. In March 2011, following poor form he left Rotherham by mutual consent, and Andy Scott replaced him until he was sacked in March 2012. Steve Evans succeeded him, in the first season at the New York Stadium, and won promotion by finishing second in League Two. In the 2013–14 League One season, Rotherham gained a place in the League One play-offs, where they defeated Preston North End in the semi-finals to set up a second play-off final at Wembley Stadium in four years. [12] In the final against Leyton Orient, the game went to a penalty shoot-out, where two saves from Adam Collin secured a second successive promotion for the club. [13]

In the 2014–15 Championship season, Rotherham's first after a nine-year absence, their survival was jeopardised by a points deduction for fielding the ineligible Farrend Rawson during their home win against Brighton & Hove Albion, [14] Farrend Rawson's loan had expired two 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. [15] but safety was secured in the penultimate game of the season, a 2–1 home victory against Reading. [16] Rotherham sold key players from their promotion winning campaigns before the 2015–16 season, including Ben Pringle, Craig Morgan and Kari Arnason. Evans left the club in September [17] and former Leeds United manager Neil Redfearn was appointed as his replacement, [18] being sacked in February 2016 after a run of six defeats in eight games. [19] Neil Warnock was appointed as manager for the rest of the season, [20] and the club stayed up, finishing 21st. Warnock left the club in May 2016 after not agreeing a contract extension. [21] Alan Stubbs became the new Rotherham boss in June 2016, [22] His first win came on 20 August 2016, with Danny Ward scoring the only goal in a 1–0 win over Brentford. [23] but was sacked in October. [24] [25] Rotherham replaced Stubbs with Kenny Jackett, [26] who himself was replaced with Paul Warne, as Rotherham finished the season bottom of the league and were relegated to League One. [27] At the first attempt, Rotherham returned to the Championship, defeating Shrewsbury in the play-off final. [28]


New York Stadium in mid-construction (4 Feb 2012). NYS under construction.jpg
New York Stadium in mid-construction (4 Feb 2012).
New York Stadium The New York Stadium.JPG
New York Stadium

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. [29]

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 AESSEAL New York Stadium, would be built on the former Guest and Chrimes foundry site in Rotherham town centre. [30] Preparation work on the site began in February 2010 to make way for the foundations to be put in place and for the old 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. [31] 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. [31] The New York Stadium made its league debut on 18 August 2012, in which Rotherham beat Burton Albion 3–0, [32] Daniel Nardiello scoring the first competitive goal in the ground. [33]


According to a survey conducted in August 2019, Rotherham supporters consider fellow Yorkshire clubs Doncaster Rovers, Barnsley, Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United and Leeds United their biggest rivals. [34]


Current squad

As of 5 March 2021. [35]

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

1 GK Flag of Sweden.svg  SWE Viktor Johansson
3 DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Joe Mattock
4 MF Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  WAL Shaun MacDonald
5 MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Lewis Wing (on loan from Middlesbrough)
6 DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Richard Wood (captain)
8 MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Ben Wiles
9 FW Flag of England.svg  ENG George Hirst (on loan from Leicester City)
10 FW Flag of England.svg  ENG Freddie Ladapo
11 MF Flag of Ireland.svg  IRL Chiedozie Ogbene
15 DF Flag of Scotland.svg  SCO Clark Robertson
16 MF Flag of Scotland.svg  SCO Jamie Lindsay
17 MF Flag of Ireland.svg  IRL Kieran Sadlier
18 DF Flag of Ireland.svg  IRL Trevor Clarke
19 DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Wes Harding
20 DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Michael Ihiekwe
21 DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Angus MacDonald
22 DF Flag of the United States.svg  USA Matthew Olosunde
24 FW Flag of England.svg  ENG Michael Smith
25 MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Matt Crooks
26 MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Daniel Barlaser
27 GK Flag of England.svg  ENG Jamal Blackman (on loan from Chelsea)
28 MF Flag of Suriname.svg  SUR Florian Jozefzoon (on loan from Derby County)
30 MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Ryan Giles (on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers)
31 GK Flag of England.svg  ENG Josh Vickers
34 FW Flag of England.svg  ENG Jacob Gratton
35 DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Jake Hull

Out on loan

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

2 DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Billy Jones (On loan to Crewe Alexandra)
7 FW Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Kyle Vassell (On loan to Fleetwood Town)
14 MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Mickel Miller (On loan to Northampton Town)
23 DF Flag of Jamaica.svg  JAM Curtis Tilt (On loan to Wigan Athletic)
29 FW Flag of England.svg  ENG Jamie Proctor (On loan to Wigan Athletic)
32 FW Flag of Ireland.svg  IRL Joshua Kayode (On loan to Carlisle United)
33 DF Flag of Ireland.svg  IRL Jake Cooper(On loan to Hartlepool United)


Current team management

As of 24 September 2020 [36]

Managerial statistics

As of 27 May 2020
Billy Heald1 August 19251 March 1929165553872033.33
Stan Davies Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg 1 March 192931 May 193059181229030.51
Billy Heald1 August 193031 December 1933150492774032.67
Reg Freeman Flag of England.svg 1 January 19341 August 195252325297174048.18
Andy Smailes Flag of England.svg 1 August 195231 October 195827810950119039.21
Tom Johnston Flag of Scotland.svg 1 December 19581 July 1962174634764036.21
Danny Williams Flag of England.svg 1 July 19621 February 1965125532151042.40
Jack Mansell Flag of England.svg 1 August 196531 May 196796342735035.42
Tommy Docherty Flag of Scotland.svg 1 November 196730 November 196852161719030.77
Jim McAnearney Flag of Scotland.svg 1 December 19681 May 1973240926682038.33
Jimmy McGuigan Flag of Scotland.svg 1 May 197313 November 197934113191119038.42
Ian Porterfield Flag of Scotland.svg 30 December 197930 June 198171322118045.07
Emlyn Hughes Flag of England.svg 1 July 198121 March 198384312132036.90
George Kerr Flag of Scotland.svg 21 March 198331 May 1985124443050035.48
Norman Hunter Flag of England.svg 18 June 19859 December 1987137434153031.39
John Breckin Flag of England.svg 9 December 198723 December 19872002000.00
Dave Cusack Flag of England.svg 23 December 19871 April 198817584029.41
Billy McEwan Flag of Scotland.svg 1 April 19881 January 1991147544251036.73
Phil Henson Flag of England.svg 1 January 199114 September 1994199755569037.69
John McGovern / Archie Gemmill Flag of Scotland.svg 14 September 199431 July 1996104363137034.62
Danny Bergara Flag of Uruguay.svg 1 August 199624 May 19975071429014.00
Ronnie Moore Flag of England.svg 24 May 199731 January 2005398143121134035.93
Alan Knill (Caretaker) Flag of England.svg 31 January 20057 April 200574201935027.03
Mick Harford Flag of England.svg 7 April 200510 December 2005265813019.23
Alan Knill Flag of England.svg 10 December 20051 March 200764181729028.13
Mark Robins Flag of England.svg 1 March 20079 September 2009129563043043.41
Steve Thornber (Caretaker) Flag of England.svg 9 September 200926 September 20093120033.33
Ronnie Moore Flag of England.svg 26 September 200921 March 201187362130041.38
Andy Liddell (Caretaker) Flag of England.svg 25 March 201115 April 20114112025.00
Andy Scott Flag of England.svg 16 April 201117 March 201246151417032.61
Darren Patterson (Caretaker) Ulster Banner.svg 19 March 201211 April 20125401080.00
Steve Evans Flag of Scotland.svg 9 April 201228 September 2015173724556041.62
Eric Black (Caretaker) Flag of Scotland.svg 1 October 20159 October 20151001000.00
Neil Redfearn Flag of England.svg 9 October 20158 February 2016215214023.81
Neil Warnock Flag of England.svg 11 February 201618 May 201616664037.50
Alan Stubbs Flag of England.svg 1 June 201619 October 2016141310007.14
Paul Warne (Caretaker) Flag of England.svg 19 October 201621 October 20160000!
Kenny Jackett Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg 21 October 201628 November 20165014000.00
Paul Warne Flag of England.svg 28 November 2016Present176633776035.80

Club honours


Third tier of English football ( EFL League One since 2004)

Fourth tier of English football ( EFL League Two since 2004)


FA Cup

Football League Cup

Football League Trophy

Football League Third Division North Cup

Club records

Board of directors and ownership


Since 2015, the naming rights to the stadium are currently owned by local multimillion-pound company AESSEAL [55]

The clubs principle sponsor is Embark Group which features on all the playing kits. The training wear has a separate Sponsorship with Guardian Electrical appearing on all training and leisure wear. All kit is made by long term sponsor Puma who have worked with the club for over 10 years.[ citation needed ]

In the tv series ChuckleVision There are often references made to the club, whom the brothers support in real life. [56] In "Football Heroes", Paul and Barry play for Rotherham after a mix-up with two former players of the club, Paul scores an own-goal and thinking it was a genuine goal, celebrates with Barry.

See also

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