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Rochdale A.F.C.
Rochdale badge
Full name Rochdale Association Football Club
Nickname(s) The Dale
Founded 1907
Ground Spotland Stadium
(Capacity: 10,249)
Chairman Chris Dunphy
Manager Keith Hill
League League Two
2008–09 League Two, 6th
Home colours
Away colours
Third colours

Rochdale Association Football Club is THE English professional football club based in Rochdale, Greater Manchester. .[1]



Rochdale AFC was formed in 1907. Since then they have had just one promotion and one relegation, with promotion coming in 1969 and relegation in 1974.

After the First World War the Football League was expanded and the club unsuccessfully applied to join. Finally, in 1921, Rochdale were recommended to be included in the new Third Division North, and played their first League game at home against Accrington Stanley on 27 August 1921, winning 6-3. However, this first season ended with the club bottom of the League, having to reapply for membership.

The club 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.


Recent History

In terms of the league, they have played in the Football League's bottom division since 1974, the longest time any team has been in the bottom division of the League, with some even derisively renaming it "the Rochdale Division".[2]

The club finished bottom of the league in 1977-78, but were successful in their bid for re-election. Instead, Southport, who had finished one place above Rochdale, were demoted instead and replaced by Wigan Athletic.

Rochdale finished bottom for a second time in 1979-80, but were again re-elected - by one vote over Altrincham. In 1989-90 the club reached the fifth round of the FA Cup for the first time, but lost 1-0 to Crystal Palace.

Steve Parkin was appointed as manager in 1998, but left to take over at Barnsley in November 2001. John Hollins was appointed as his successor and, after more than two decades of mediocrity, in which the club finished in the top 10 only three times, the club finished the season in fifth place, entering the promotion play-offs where they lost to Rushden & Diamonds in the semi-finals.

The following season the club reached the fifth round of the FA Cup again the following season, but lost 3-1 at Wolves. Hollins was replaced by Paul Simpson in 2002, and Alan Buckley appointed and sacked as manager in 2003. Parkin then returned to the club as manager, until being sacked in December 2006.

His replacement, Keith Hill, who was initially appointed as caretaker-manager, led Rochdale to a 5th-placed finish in 2007-08, securing a play-off place. After beating Darlington 5-4 on penalties in the semi-finals, Rochdale reached Wembley for the first time in their history. However, despite taking the lead in the match, they lost the final 3-2 to Stockport County.

In the 2008-2009 season, Rochdale reached the League Two playoffs for the second consecutive season, finishing 6th in the table on 70 points.

In the 2009-2010 season Rochdale topped the table at Christmas for the first time with 47 points from 22 games.


Rochdale home colours, used until the 2006/07 season.

Rochdale's current home colours are black and blue shirts, white shorts and blue socks, which is a totally new kit introduced for the 08/09 season. Previously, Dale's usual colours were all-blue, which was introduced in 1949. Prior to this, Rochdale wore black and white stripes, which was influenced by the strong Newcastle United side of 1907 (the year Rochdale were formed), the strip which they adopted for their centenary season in 2007.

Rochdale's centenary kit, used in the 2007/08 season.

This black and white kit was re-introduced in the 07/08 season as the one-off centenary kit; the new Internazionale-influenced design is an amalgamation of both the striped kit and the blue kit to herald the second century of Dale's existence.

Other kits have included white shirts with black shorts, white shirts with blue shorts and a blue shirt with white sleeves.

Rochdale's away kit is white shirts with blue trim and blue shorts. Other historical away kits have included yellow, teal, green and red.

It was announced in June 2009 that the kit supplier for the next three seasons would be Carbrini. At the same time the club announced that their shirt sponsor for the 2009-2010 season would be

The Dale have had sponsored shirts since 1983, the most notable sponsor being Carcraft. Other former sponsors include MMC Estates, All-in-One Garden Centre, Smith Metals, Carcraft and Keytech.


The club crest / logo used by Rochdale AFC focuses on a variant of the arms of the former County Borough of Rochdale.

The coat of arms, based on those of the local and reputed Rochdale family with certain additions, was granted to the Borough by Heralds College in 1857. At its centre, a shield shows a sack of wool and a cotton plant, representing the local wool and cotton industries. Around the edge of the shield sit eight martlets (birds). These are taken from the Rachdale family coat of arms (mentioned above) and are widely used on heraldic devices. Above the shield and helm (in the position technically know as the 'crest' in heraldry) more local industry representations are made by the inclusion of a fleece of wool (suspended by a band) and the iron centre of an old mill-stone (known as a mill-rind).

A motto below the shield reads; 'Crede Signo'. Roughly translated this means; `Believe in the sign`.

The blazon (official heraldic description) for the arms reads as follows:

'Argent a woolpack encircled by two branches of the cotton tree flowered and conjoint proper; a bordure sable charged with eight martlets of the field; and for a crest on a wreath of the colours a mill-rind sable and above a fleece argent banded or.'

When, in 1974, Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council was formed (taking over from Rochdale County Borough Council and five other Borough / Urban District Councils) a new coat of arms was created and awarded for Council Use. Rochdale AFC, however, continued (and continues today) to adopt the old Rochdale County Borough arms.

Rochdale will have new sponsorship for 2009/2010,jd and freeonlinebets will be on the jersey next season


Rochdale play their home matches at Spotland, which has a capacity of 10,249. The stadium was built exclusively for the Dale in 1920, but since 1988 the ground has been jointly owned by the football club, Rochdale Council and Rochdale Hornets. However it is largely expected that Rochdale will buy Hornets' share of the ground.


As of 18 January 2010.

Current squad

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

No. Position Player
1 Scotland GK Kenny Arthur
2 England DF Scott Wiseman
3 England DF Tom Kennedy
4 England DF Nathan Stanton
6 Northern Ireland MF Ciarán Toner
7 England MF Jason Kennedy
8 England MF Gary Jones (captain)
9 England FW Chris Dagnall
10 England MF Andy Haworth (on loan from Blackburn Rovers)
13 England GK Danny Taberner
14 England FW Tope Obadeyi (on loan from Bolton Wanderers)
15 England MF Joe Thompson
16 England MF Karl Hughes
18 England MF Kallum Higginbotham
19 England FW Chris O'Grady
No. Position Player
20 England FW Denis Sheriff
21 England GK Matty Edwards
22 England MF David Flitcroft (assistant manager)
23 Northern Ireland DF Rory McArdle
24 England DF Chris Brown
25 England MF Callum Byrne
26 England DF Craig Dawson
27 England DF Josh Brizell
28 England DF Matthew Flynn
31 England DF Marcus Holness
32 England MF Will Atkinson (on loan from Hull City)
33 England MF Jason Taylor (on loan from Rotherham United)
34 England GK Frank Fielding (on loan from Blackburn Rovers)
35 England MF Scott Hogan
36 England MF Reece Gray

For notable past players, please see Rochdale A.F.C. players

Player Records


Club Records


  1. ^ Football Ground Guide: Spotland, Rochdale FC Football Ground Guide, 26 November 2009
  2. ^ Time to escape the 'Rochdale Division' Rochdale Observer, 5 August 2005

External links


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