Robert John Page is a Welsh former professional footballer and manager, who now manages the Wales under-21 team. In an eighteen-year career in the Premier League and the Football League he made 550 competitive appearances for six different clubs, he both scored a goal in all top four divisions of English football. He gained 41 caps for Wales in a ten-year international career, captaining the side once, before he retired from international football in September 2006. A defender, he began his career with Watford in 1993, who he would captain to two promotions, winning the Second Division title in 1997–98 and the First Division play-off final in 1999, he went on to be voted the club's Player of the Season in their 1999–2000 Premier League campaign. He was sold to Sheffield United for a £350,000 fee in September 2001, helped the club to reach the First Division play-off final in 2003, as well the semi-finals of the FA Cup and League Cup, he signed with Cardiff City in July 2004, before moving on to Coventry City in February 2005.
He joined Huddersfield Town in January 2008, before moving on to Chesterfield in May 2008 and announcing his retirement in March 2011. He worked as a coach at Port Vale for three years before he was appointed as manager on a caretaker basis, in September 2014. In May 2016, he was appointed manager of Northampton Town on a three-year contract, but was sacked in January 2017, he was appointed Wales under-21 manager two months later. Page started his professional career at Watford in 1993, having been with the club from the age of 11, he established himself as a key member of the first team under manager Kenny Jackett, playing 42 games in the 1996–97 campaign. His first major feat with the club came in the 1997–98 season, when new manager Graham Taylor appointed Page as captain and led the "Hornets" to the Second Division title, he made 49 appearances in league and cup competitions, ensured the "Hornets" earned a vital point at second-place Bristol City in his final game of the season. Dropped at the start of the 1998–99 season in favour of Dean Yates, he soon was returned to the starting eleven alongside centre-back partner Steve Palmer and made 42 First Division appearances to help Watford to a fifth-place finish.
After defeating Birmingham City in the play-off semi-finals, Page marshalled the Watford defence to a clean sheet in the final, as Watford defeated Bolton Wanderers 2–0 to win a place in the Premier League. As expected Watford were relegated at the end of their maiden season in the Premier League; however Page did play in some memorable moments for the club, including a 1–0 victory over Liverpool at Anfield and another 1–0 victory over Chelsea at Vicarage Road. He scored against Sheffield Wednesday to win the club a point at Hillsborough. Page was voted Watford Player of the Season, he remained with Watford for the 2000–01 campaign, making 42 appearances in league and cup competitions. In May 2001, in one of his first acts as manager, Gianluca Vialli transfer listed Page, demanding a £1 million fee from prospective clubs, he was loaned out to First Division rivals Sheffield United in August 2001, before moving to Bramall Lane permanently the next month for a £350,000 fee. He went on to make 45 appearances for the club in the 2001–02 campaign.
The next season he captained the "Blades" to a third-place finish. He played in the club's play-off semi-final victory over Nottingham Forest, but was powerless to stop Wolverhampton Wanderers winning 3–0 in the final at the Millennium Stadium. Neil Warnock led the "Blades" to the semi-finals of the FA Cup and League Cup in 2003, where they were beaten by Arsenal and Liverpool respectively, he recovered from an ankle injury to make 35 appearances in 2003–04, as United finish two points outside of the play-off zone. He moved to Championship rivals Cardiff City on a free transfer in July 2004. Finding himself on the bench under manager Lennie Lawrence, he left Ninian Park in February 2005 after making only nine appearances, his first team opportunities were limited by the fine centre-back partnership of Danny Gabbidon and James Collins. Coventry City manager Micky Adams signed Page in February 2005. Page was soon struck down with a knee injury. In September 2005 he was handed a three match suspension by The Football Association after fighting with Southampton defender Darren Powell.
He made 34 appearances in the 2005 -- 06 season. At the end of the campaign he underwent major hip surgery. Page signed an extended contract in September 2006, was appointed as club captain in November, though his contribution was more limited in the 2006–07 season as he picked up ten bookings in his 29 league appearances, he hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons in January 2007, after he and vice-captain Michael Doyle injured each other after fighting each other on the club's training ground. The Daily Mail reported. Page was frozen out of the first team by new manager Iain Dowie. After just two appearances in the first half of the 2007–08 season, he left the Ricoh Arena in the January transfer window. In January 2008, he joined Huddersfield Town in League One as manager Andy Ritchie wanted to add experience to his young defensive back line. On 26 January, he made, he made his Town league debut three days in a 1–0 win over Bournemouth at the Galpharm Stadium. In his four games for Huddersfield the "Terriers" recorded four clean sheets.
He scored his first goal for the club in their FA Cup defeat against Carlisle United at Brunton Park on 12 February 2008. Following Ritchie's departure as manager, caretaker manager Gerry Murphy made Page captain of the
In sports, a loan involves a particular player being able to temporarily play for a club other than the one he is contracted to. Loan deals can persist for multiple seasons. Players may be loaned out to other clubs for several reasons. Most young prospects will be loaned to a club in a lower league in order to gain valuable first team experience. In this instance, the parent club may continue to pay the player's wages in part; some clubs put a formal arrangement in place with a feeder club for this purpose, such as Manchester United and Royal Antwerp and Beveren, or Chelsea and Vitesse. In other leagues such as Italy's Serie A, some smaller clubs have a reputation as a "farm club" and take players younger players, on loan from larger clubs. A club may take a player on loan if they are short on transfer funds but can still pay wages, or as temporary cover for injuries or suspensions; the parent club might demand a fee or that the loaning club pays some or all of the player's wages during the loan period.
A club might seek to loan out a squad player to make a saving on his wages, or a first team player to regain match fitness following an injury. A loan may be made to get around a transfer window; such a loan might include an agreed fee for a permanent transfer when the next transfer window opens. Some players are loaned because they are unhappy or in dispute with their current club and no other club wishes to buy them permanently. Examples of this situation include Henri Camara with Wolverhampton Wanderers, Craig Bellamy with Newcastle United, Darren Bent with Aston Villa. In the Premier League, players on loan are not permitted to play against the team which holds their registration. Loanees are, allowed to play against their'owning' clubs in cup competitions, unless they have played for their owning club in that cup during that season. In the Scottish Professional Football League, clubs are permitted to take players on as unpaid trialists for competitive fixtures. Sometimes for the first two weeks of a trial period players' names are obfuscated.
Walsall Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Walsall, West Midlands, England. The team play in the third tier in the English football league system; the club was founded in 1888 as Walsall Town Swifts, an amalgamation of Walsall Town F. C. and Walsall Swifts F. C; the club was one of the founder members of the Second Division in 1892, but have spent their entire existence outside English football's top division. Their first match at Wembley Stadium was the 2015 Football League Trophy Final, which they lost to Bristol City. Walsall moved into their Bescot Stadium in 1990, having played at nearby Fellows Park for a century; the team play in a red and white kit and their club crest features a swift. The club's nickname, "The Saddlers", reflects Walsall's status as a traditional centre for saddle manufacture. Walsall were formed as Walsall Town Swifts in 1888 when Walsall Town F. C. and Walsall Swifts F. C. amalgamated. Walsall Town had been founded in 1877 and Walsall Swifts in 1879.
Both clubs had played at the Chuckery, the new club remained at the same ground. Walsall Town Swifts' first match was a draw against Aston Villa. Two players from this early era received international caps. In 1882, Alf Jones won the first two of his three caps while with Walsall Swifts, in 1889 Albert Aldridge received the second of his two caps while playing for Walsall Town Swifts; the club were first admitted to the Football League in 1892, as founder members of the new Second Division. They moved to the West Bromwich Road ground in 1893. After finishing 14th out of 16 teams in 1894–95 the club failed to be re-elected to the Football League. At the start of the 1895 season the club moved to Hilary Street renamed Fellows Park. In 1896 they changed their name to Walsall F. C. and joined the Midland League. A year they returned to the Second Division, three teams having failed re-election in 1896; the team finished in sixth place in 1898–99, but once again failed re-election two years dropping back into the Midland League.
A move to the Birmingham League followed in 1903, in 1910, the club were elected to the Southern League. With the expansion of the Football League after World War I, Walsall became a founding member of the Third Division North in 1921. Walsall's highest "home" attendance was set in 1930, when they played in of front of 74,646 fans against Aston Villa in the FA Cup Fourth Round Although a home match for Walsall, the tie was played at their opponents' Villa Park ground, it remains the highest attendance that Walsall have played in front of. In 1933, Walsall won 2–0 in the FA Cup against Arsenal at Fellows Park. Arsenal went on to win the First Division that season, the cup defeat to Third Division North side Walsall is still regarded as one of the greatest upsets in FA Cup history. In 1958, following a reorganisation of the Football League, Walsall became founder members of the Fourth Division. Under the management of Bill Moore, the club achieved successive promotions, scoring 102 goals on their way to winning Division Four in 1959–60 and finishing as Division Three runners-up in 1960–61 to reach the second tier of English football for the first time since the early 1900s.
Players such as Bill'Chopper' Guttridge, Tony Richards and Colin Taylor were intrinsically important to the success of the side. After just two seasons in the Second Division, the club were relegated back to Division Three in 1962–63, remained there until a further demotion to the Fourth Division, in 1978–79; the club has always had a rich history of producing players. Allan Clarke went on to win the League Championship under Don Revie at Leeds United after beginning life at Fellows Park. Bert Williams and Phil Parkes both became England goalkeepers in the years after they progressed from their roots in Walsall. David Kelly had a long career at the top level after leaving Walsall in 1988, representing the Republic of Ireland at the highest level of international football. More Michael Ricketts represented England after blossoming at Bolton Wanderers. In recent years, Matty Fryatt and Ishmel Demontagnac have both represented England age-groups; the 1980s were a period of considerable activity for Walsall.
In 1983–84 they defeated First Division club Arsenal in the League Cup at Highbury, advanced to the semi-final, where an estimated 10,000 Saddlers saw a 2–2 draw against Liverpool at Anfield, however a second leg 2–0 defeat in front of 19,591 at Fellows Park saw Walsall lose the tie 4–2 on aggregate. This cup run saw Walsall famously only 90 minutes away from playing in Europe, once the name of a Fanzine no longer running. Walsall narrowly missed out on promotion to the Second Division in the same season. In 1986 plans were announced to move Walsall to Birmingham; the town rallied behind Barrie Blower. Walsall were subsequently bought by millionaire entrepreneur and racehorse owner Terry Ramsden and with his money came high-profile signings and the attention of the national media. In 1986–87, under new manager Tommy Coakley, Walsall narrowly missed the play-offs, but made considerable progress in the FA Cup as they defeated First Division Charlton Athletic and Birmingham City and took Watford to two replays in the fifth round.
Walsall earned promotion through the old Division Three play-offs in 1988, beating Bristol City in a replayed final at Fellows Park, 13,007 where there to see it. 1988–89 saw the club relegated from Division Two and Ramsden's business empire collapsed alongside the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Walsall were minutes from being taken over by Jap
Sheffield is a city and metropolitan borough in South Yorkshire, England. Part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, its name derives from the River Sheaf, which runs through the city. With some of its southern suburbs annexed from Derbyshire, the city has grown from its industrial roots to encompass a wider economic base; the population of the City of Sheffield is 577,800 and it is one of the eight largest regional English cities that make up the Core Cities Group. Sheffield is the third-largest English district by population; the metropolitan population of Sheffield is 1,569,000. The city is in the eastern foothills of the Pennines, the valleys of the River Don and its four tributaries, the Loxley, the Porter Brook, the Rivelin and the Sheaf. Sixty-one per cent of Sheffield's entire area is green space, a third of the city lies within the Peak District national park. There are more than 250 parks and gardens in the city, estimated to contain around 4.5 million trees. Sheffield played a crucial role in the Industrial Revolution, with many significant inventions and technologies developed in the city.
In the 19th century, the city saw a huge expansion of its traditional cutlery trade, when stainless steel and crucible steel were developed locally, fuelling an tenfold increase in the population. Sheffield received its municipal charter in 1843, becoming the City of Sheffield in 1893. International competition in iron and steel caused a decline in these industries in the 1970s and 1980s, coinciding with the collapse of coal mining in the area; the 21st century has seen extensive redevelopment in Sheffield, along with other British cities. Sheffield's gross value added has increased by 60% since 1997, standing at £9.2 billion in 2007. The economy has experienced steady growth averaging around 5% annually, greater than that of the broader region of Yorkshire and the Humber; the city has a long sporting heritage, is home to the world's oldest football club, Sheffield F. C. Games between the two professional clubs, Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday, are known as the Steel City derby; the city is home to the World Snooker Championship and the Sheffield Steelers, the UK's first professional ice hockey team.
The area now occupied by the City of Sheffield is believed to have been inhabited since at least the late Upper Paleolithic, about 12,800 years ago. The earliest evidence of human occupation in the Sheffield area was found at Creswell Crags to the east of the city. In the Iron Age the area became the southernmost territory of the Pennine tribe called the Brigantes, it is this tribe who are thought to have constructed several hill forts around Sheffield. Following the departure of the Romans, the Sheffield area may have been the southern part of the Brittonic kingdom of Elmet, with the rivers Sheaf and Don forming part of the boundary between this kingdom and the kingdom of Mercia. Anglian settlers pushed west from the kingdom of Deira. A Britonnic presence within the Sheffield area is evidenced by two settlements called Wales and Waleswood close to Sheffield; the settlements that grew and merged to form Sheffield, date from the second half of the first millennium, are of Anglo-Saxon and Danish origin.
In Anglo-Saxon times, the Sheffield area straddled the border between the kingdoms of Mercia and Northumbria. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle reports that Eanred of Northumbria submitted to Egbert of Wessex at the hamlet of Dore in 829, a key event in the unification of the kingdom of England under the House of Wessex. After the Norman conquest of England, Sheffield Castle was built to protect the local settlements, a small town developed, the nucleus of the modern city. By 1296, a market had been established at what is now known as Castle Square, Sheffield subsequently grew into a small market town. In the 14th century, Sheffield was noted for the production of knives, as mentioned in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, by the early 1600s it had become the main centre of cutlery manufacture in England outside London, overseen by the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire. From 1570 to 1584, Queen of Scots, was imprisoned in Sheffield Castle and Sheffield Manor. During the 1740s, a form of the crucible steel process was discovered that allowed the manufacture of a better quality of steel than had been possible.
In about the same period, a technique was developed for fusing a thin sheet of silver onto a copper ingot to produce silver plating, which became known as Sheffield plate. These innovations spurred Sheffield's growth as an industrial town, but the loss of some important export markets led to a recession in the late 18th and early 19th century; the resulting poor conditions culminated in a cholera epidemic that killed 402 people in 1832. The population of the town grew throughout the 19th century; the Sheffield and Rotherham railway was constructed in 1838. The town was incorporated as a borough in 1842, was granted a city charter in 1893; the influx of people led to demand for better water supplies, a number of new reservoirs were constructed on the outskirts of the town. The collapse of the dam wall of one of these reservoirs in 1864 resulted in the Great Sheffield Flood, which killed 270 people and devastated large parts of the town; the growing population led to the construction of many back-to-back dwellings that, along with severe pollution from the factories, inspired George Orwell in 1937 to write: "Sheffield, I suppose, could justly claim to be called the ugliest town in the Old World".
The Great Depression hit the city in the 1930s, but as international tensions increased and the Second
Mansfield Town F.C.
Mansfield Town Football Club is a professional football club based in the town of Mansfield, England. The team compete in the fourth tier of the English football league system. Nicknamed ` The Stags', they play in a royal amber kit. Since 1919, Mansfield have played at Field Mill, now an all-seater stadium with a capacity of 9,186, their main rivals are Notts County. The club was formed in 1897 as Mansfield Wesleyans and entered the Mansfield & District Amateur League in 1902, before changing its name to Mansfield Wesley and joining the Notts & District League in 1906, they finally became Mansfield Town in 1910, moved from the Notts & Derbyshire League to the Central Alliance the following year. Crowned Alliance champions in 1919–20, they joined the Midland League in 1921 and would win this league on three occasions – 1923–24, 1924–25 and 1928–29 – before they were admitted into the Football League in 1931, they were relegated out of the Third Division in 1960, but won promotion out of the Fourth Division in 1962–63, remaining in the third tier for nine seasons until their relegation in 1972.
They reached the Second Division for the first time after winning the Fourth Division title in 1974–75 and the Third Division title in 1976–77, only to suffer two relegations in three seasons. Promoted out of the Fourth Division under the stewardship of Ian Greaves in 1985–86, they went on to win the Football League Trophy in 1986–87. Mansfield were however relegated in 1991 and promoted again in 1991–92, only to suffer an immediate relegation the following season, they won promotion once again in 2001–02, but were relegated to League Two in 2003 and lost their Football League status with a further relegation in 2008. They spent four seasons in the Conference until they were promoted back into the Football League after winning the Conference in 2012–13 following investment from new club owner John Radford. Mansfield Town was formed under the name of Mansfield Wesleyans in 1897, the name of the club coming from the local Wesleyan church; the club played friendlies up until the 1902–03 season, when it joined the Mansfield and District Amateur League.
When the league dropped its amateur tag in 1906, the church abandoned the club, which changed its name to Mansfield Wesley and moved into the Notts and District League. In the summer of 1910, despite having lost the previous season to Mansfield Mechanics in the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Cup, the team changed its name to Mansfield Town. In the following years, Mansfield Town swapped between the Notts and District League, Central Alliance League and Notts and Derbyshire League, before World War I brought a halt to proceedings. After the war, Mansfield became occupants of the Field Mill ground, after Mansfield Mechanics failed to pay their rent. In 1921, the club was admitted into the Midland Counties League, celebrated by reaching the 6th Qualifying Round of the FA Cup twice in a row; the club won the league in 1923–24 and was the runner-up the following season, but on both occasions failed to win election to the Football League. In 1928–29, Mansfield won the Midland League again, but more famously reached the Fourth Round Proper of the FA Cup, losing 2–0 to First Division Arsenal, after a cup run which saw them beat Second Division Wolverhampton Wanderers.
However, York City beat the Stags in elections for a League place. In 1931, Mansfield were elected to the Southern Section of the Third Division. However, the club struggled to adapt to League surroundings and were in the lower reaches of the table. One of few highlights in the years before the Second World War was Ted Harston, who scored 55 goals in one season before transferring to Liverpool. After the war, Mansfield started to see some progress. Lucky to escape the need for re-election when it was decided that no club would be relegated after the 1946–47 season, the Stags started to move up the table. In 1950–51, Mansfield reached the Fifth Round of the FA Cup and became the first Football League team to complete a 23–game home schedule unbeaten, although missed out on the only Third Division promotion spot. In 1959–60 the club was relegated to the created Fourth Division, before gaining promotion back to the Third Division in 1962–63; this promotion was tainted by life-time suspensions handed out to players Brian Phillips and Sammy Chapman for bribing opponents, including players of Hartlepools United in a vital match which Mansfield won 4–3.
Two seasons the club again narrowly missed out on promotion to the Second Division. The season after avoiding relegation due to a points deduction for Peterborough United, Mansfield made another headline-grabbing cup run. Mansfield beat First Division West Ham United 3–0 in the Fifth Round of the 1968–69 FA Cup, before narrowly losing to Leicester City in the Quarter Finals. In 1971–72 Mansfield were relegated, again, to the Fourth Division. By 1976–77, the club was back in the Third Division, despite the distraction of a 5–2 FA Cup defeat to Matlock Town, beat Wrexham to the Third Division title; the club went straight back down, only a good run of form at the end of the 1978–79 season saved Mansfield from a double relegation. Mansfield won the Football League Trophy in front of 58,000 fans in May 1987, beating Bristol City on penalties after a 1–1 draw. However, the years that followed were inconsistent, with Mansfield becoming a "yo-yo" team between the Third and Fourth Divisions, it was at this time that controversial owner Keith Haslam bought the club.
In 2001–02, Mansfield were again promoted to the third tier of English football, beating Carlisle on the final day of the season to take third place from Cheltenham Town, who lost at Plymouth. A poor season in Division Two did not
Penalty shoot-out (association football)
A penalty shoot-out is a method of determining which team is awarded victory in an association football match that cannot end in a draw, when the score is tied after the regulation playing time as well as extra time have expired. In a penalty shoot-out, each team takes turns shooting at goal from the penalty mark, with the goal only defended by the opposing team's goalkeeper; each team has five shots. Shoot-outs finish as soon. If scores are level after five pairs of shots, the shootout progresses into additional "sudden-death" rounds. Balls kicked into the goal during a shoot-out do not count as goals for the individual kickers or the team, are tallied separately from the goals scored during normal play. Although the procedure for each individual kick in the shoot-out resembles that of a penalty kick, there are some differences. Most notably, neither the kicker nor any player other than the goalkeeper may play the ball again once it has been kicked; the penalty shoot-out is one of the three methods of breaking a draw that are approved by the Laws of the Game.
A shoot-out is used only after one or more of the other methods fail to produce a winner. The method of breaking a draw for a specific match is determined beforehand by the match organizing body. In most professional level competitions, two 15-minute extra time periods are played if the score is tied at the end of regulation time, a shoot-out is held if the score is still tied after the extra time periods. Although employed in football since the 1970s, penalty shoot-outs are disliked by many followers of the game, due to their perceived reliance on luck rather than skill and their dependence on individual duels between opposing players, arguably not in keeping with football as a team sport. Conversely, some believe the pressure and unpredictability involved makes it one of the most thrilling finales to any sport. During a shoot-out and players other than the kicker and the goalkeepers must remain in the centre circle; the kicking team's goalkeeper stands at the intersection of the goal line and the line marking the penalty area near one of the assistant referees.
Goals scored during the shoot-out are not added to the goalscoring records of the players involved. A draw is a common result in football. Shoot-outs are only used in competitions that require a match-winner at the end of the game – this is predominantly in knockout "cup" ties, as opposed to round-robin "leagues". Extra time has been played first, but this is not necessary. Exceptionally, a shoot-out after a league or round-robin match may be provided for; this provision appears for occasions where opposing teams in a final-day match finish the group with identical records, which can result in an immediate shoot-out. This happened in Group A of the 2003 UEFA Women's Under-19 Championship; this rule is a recent innovation, for example did not apply in Group F of the 1990 World Cup, where the Republic of Ireland and the Netherlands were separated by drawing of lots after finishing their final-day match in a draw. Several leagues, such as the J. League, have experimented with penalty shoot-outs following a drawn league match, with the winner being awarded an extra point.
In the United States and Canada, Major League Soccer also had a shoot-out following the end of full-time during league matches, although these shoot-outs differed from standard penalty shoot-outs. A team that loses a penalty shoot-out is eliminated from the tournament but it does not count as a defeat, while the winning team in the shoot-out advances but does not get a match victory. For instance, the Netherlands are considered to have concluded the 2014 FIFA World Cup undefeated, despite being eliminated at the semi-final stage; the following is a summary of the procedure for kicks from the penalty mark. The procedure is specified in Law 10 of the IFAB's Laws of the Game document; the referee tosses a coin to decide the goal. The choice of goal by the coin toss winner may only be changed by the referee for safety reasons or if the goal or playing surface becomes unusable; the referee tosses the coin a second time to determine. All players other than the kicker and the goalkeepers must remain in the pitch's centre circle.
Each kick will be taken in the general manner of a penalty kick. Each kick will be taken from the penalty mark, 12 yards from the goal line and equidistant from each touch line, with the goal defended only by the opposing goalkeeper; the goalkeeper must remain between the goal posts on his goal line until the ball has been kicked, although he can jump in place, wave his arms, move side to side along the goal line or otherwise try to distract the shooter. Each team is responsible for selecting from the eligible players the order in which they will take the kicks; each kicker can kick the ball only once. Once kicked, the kicker may not play the ball again; the decision on a rekick is at the referee's discretion. No other player on either team, other than the designated kicker and goalkeeper
Rochdale Association Football Club is a professional football club based in the town of Rochdale, Greater Manchester, England. The club competes in League One, the third tier of the English football league system. Nicknamed "the Dale", the club was founded in 1907, moved to its current stadium, Spotland Stadium, in 1920 and was accepted into the Football League in 1921. Since the club has remained in the third and fourth tiers of English football. Rochdale's greatest achievement was reaching the League Cup final in 1961–62, finishing runners-up to Norwich City; the club attracts a small but loyal fanbase, with a hardcore following of around 3,000 home fans on average per match. Rochdale played 36 consecutive seasons in the Football League's bottom division from 1974 to 2010, the longest time any team has been in the bottom division of the League, with some derisively calling it "the Rochdale Division"; the club has the lowest average position of all the clubs which have existed continuously in the Football League since its expansion to four divisions in 1921–22 and since its expansion to 92 clubs in 1950–51.
Additionally, the club holds the distinction of having played the most seasons in the English Football League without either reaching the top two tiers or being relegated to the National League. The club reached the League Cup Final in 1962; this was the first time a club from the bottom league division had reached the final of a major competition – where they lost to Norwich City. During its history, the club has had three promotions and three relegations, with promotion coming in 1969 and 2010 and 2014 and relegation in 1959, 1974 and 2012; the 1959 relegation followed the 1958 restructuring which saw the combination of the two Third Division sections into the Third Division and Fourth Division. In the restructuring, Rochdale managed to secure a spot in the Third Division, but was relegated at the end of the season to the now lowest Fourth Division. Rochdale A. F. C. was formed in 1907. After World War I the Football League was expanded and the club unsuccessfully applied to join. In 1921 Rochdale was recommended to be included in the new Third Division North, 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 at the bottom of the League, having to reapply for membership. The club's first promotion came in 1969, earned by a team assembled by manager Bob Stokoe, though it was Stokoe's assistant, Len Richley who steered Rochdale to promotion after Stokoe moved to Carlisle United. In the early stages of the 1969–70 season, Rochdale topped the Third Division table, sparking hopes of a second successive promotion; the team's form declined around Christmas 1969, a failure to halt the team's decline led to the dismissal of Richley. He was succeeded by Dick Conner, who stabilised the club's form and steered them to a 9th-place finish; the following three seasons saw the club finish in the lower reaches of the Third Division table, narrowly avoiding relegation each time. The board viewed surviving in the Third Division as unacceptable and replaced Conner with Walter Joyce for the 1973–74 season; this move failed to pay off, Rochdale was relegated after a campaign in which they won only 2 of 46 league games.
The club was successful in their bid for re-election. Southport, which had finished one place above Rochdale, was demoted instead and replaced by Wigan Athletic. Rochdale finished bottom for a second time in 1979–80, but was 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, a period in which the success of the club improved with the emergence of talented players such as Gary Jones, Clive Platt, Grant Holt and Kevin Townson. Parkin left to take over at Barnsley in November 2001 with Rochdale second in the Third Division; this gained him little popularity with the fans when he took Gary Jones with him. John Hollins was appointed as his successor and the club finished the season in 5th place, entering the promotion play-offs where they lost to Rushden & Diamonds in the semi-final; the club lost 3 -- 1 at Wolves. Hollins was replaced by Paul Simpson in 2002, Alan Buckley and sacked as manager in 2003.
Parkin returned to the club as manager, until being sacked in December 2006. Parkin's replacement, Keith Hill, appointed as caretaker manager, became arguably the club's most successful manager to date. Hill and his assistant manager David Flitcroft led Rochdale to a 5th-place finish in 2007–08, securing a play-off place. After beating Darlington 5–4 on penalties in the semi-final, Rochdale reached Wembley for the first time in their history. Despite taking the lead in the match, they lost the final 3–2 to Stockport County. In the 2008–09 season, Rochdale reached the League Two play-offs for the second consecutive season, finishing 6th in the table on 70 points. Season 2009–10 ended a 41-year wait for promotion with a win over Northampton Town as Rochdale secured the third automatic promotion spot. Rochdale continued their progression under Keith Hill, now with the club for 3 years, with a secured spot in League One in 2010–11. In 2010–11 Rochdale finished 9th in league one with 68 points, equalling their highest league finish since 1969–70.
On 1 June 2011 manager Keith Hill joined Championship club Barnsley. Former Manchester City apprentice and youth coach Steve Eyre was confirmed as Hill's replacement on 12 June 2011. Eyre's spell at Spotland did not last long, as h