Monday, 26 January 2015

Remembering Rotherham United

I am looking forward to Saturday's match a little bit more than form would suggest I should be. Apart from this being a relegation six pointer and the Valley faithful's first chance to see Guy Luzon's touchline histrionics, I have some fond memories of the Millers.

When I say fond memories, of course, I am not talking about famous victories but rather of a couple I met on holiday thirty-five years ago and a couple of visits to Millmoor (and the Sheffield clubs) at that time in particular when they hosted us royally at the miner's working man's social club which they ran. In fact, our record against Rotherham in my viewing lifetime is, erm, poor. Considering they have traditionally performed in leagues below us, they have punched their weight whenever we have met them. Since the early seventies, it currently reads won 1, drawn 1 and lost 5.

I recall one showing in particular when they came to the Valley back in 1982 when we were under the stewardship of the hapless Ken Craggs. We had been promoted with Rotherham two seasons before and they were still holding on in the old second division (Championship). We had a tidy side at the time - Nicky Johns in goal, Elliott and Aizlewood in the back four, Harris, Mehmet, Bullivant and Robinson in the middle and Killer and Steve White up front. The trouble was, Rotherham had Ronnie Moore and Tony Towner.

We took the lead early on but the Millers equalised quickly through Moore and had gone two-one up before Steve White was sent off for two hot-headed yellows in quick succession. After that Rotherham sensed blood and poured forward for the whole of the second-half. Ronnie Moore caught all Addick eyes netting a hat-trick and created an impression that would result in the fans raising part of his transfer fee the following season. 

Tony Towner, an irresistible tumbling winger with a cracking shot, also scored that day as we went down 5-1. He was a former Millwall thorn-in-our-side who wasn't quite past it. Ken Craggs will also remember that game more than most - it was his last ever match in charge of a professional football team.


Anonymous said...

Remember that game well Dave, wasn't Emlyn Hughes manager of Rotherham at the time.


ChicagoAddick said...

Remember it well too. We had a decent side but we were truly awful under Craggs. Lennie of course soon got us into shape. Any idea what the crowd was that day Dave? Under 5k?

Dave said...

CA - 6761 according to the Bible.

Dave said...

PH - yes, I had forgotten that. He was actually player manager and according to the Bible, he played in that match too. He lasted longer than Craggs in management but was sacked during the second-half of the season and never managed again. RIP Crazy Horse.