Saturday 15th September 1984
Canon League Division Four
HARTLEPOOL UNITED 0, ROCHDALE 2
Dale had made a rather left-field managerial appointment in the summer of 1984.
Jimmy Greenhoff was sacked by the club in March of that year and Les Chapman stood in until the end of the season, when the directors decided to bring in a new man.
They turned to someone with vast experience as a player and who had forged an excellent reputation in non-league management.
The new man was Vic Halom, who had played locally for Oldham, but was best known for being a member of Sunderland’s 1973 FA Cup winning side.
Halom had managed Barrow to the Northern Premier League title in 1983/84, but the lure of taking charge of a Football League club in Rochdale was too good to turn down.
With a raft of new squad additions, there was always a chance Halom’s Dale team would take time to bed down.
They not only lost each of their first three league games, but also exited the Milk Cup on aggregate to Stockport.
Next up was a trip to Hartlepool to face one of our oldest foes in Hartlepool United. They had made a slightly better start to the season than Dale, having two points to their name.
Goals had been a problem for the team in the early games, so Halom tried to pep up his attack by giving a debut to free agent, Tom English.
He was actually one of three debutants for Dale that afternoon, with full-back John Cavanagh and goalkeeper Paul Malcolm the others.
Halom’s dealing worked as English scored the opener, which was later added to by Les Lawrence as Dale eased to a 2-0 win to get off the mark for the season.
English only hung around for a couple more games, before trying his luck with Plymouth and later in American football.
Lawrence, who was Halom’s big summer signing, struggled to find the net for Dale, yet the club still made a profit when they sold him to Burnley two months later.
The Rochdale team that afternoon was:
ALSO ON THIS DAY
2001 Dale had Lee Todd sent-off for handball on the line, but still battled to a 2-2 home draw with Scunthorpe. Michael Oliver and Gary Jones (pen) were on target for Steve Parkin’s men.
2012 John Coleman’s Rochdale team picked-up a 2-1 win at AFC Wimbledon thanks to first half goals from Dele Adebola and Bobby Grant
BORN ON THIS DAY
Only two former Dale players were born on this day, Steve Elliott and Dean Holden.
Elliott (pictured below) was a striker who joined Dale on loan in October 1989, before making the move permanent shortly after. He went on to score ten goals in 61 appearances for the club and is 58 today.
Holden was a defender brought to Spotland by Steve Eyre in November 2011. A player with experience at a number of clubs, including Oldham, Falkirk and Shrewsbury, Dean remained with Dale until the end of the season when he was released by John Coleman. He is 37 today.