This season marks 50 years since Rochdale secured their first ever promotion. As part of a special Friday Flashback feature, we’re going to delve into the archives throughout the year to take a look back at how this was achieved…
On Saturday 10th August, exactly 50 years ago to the date, Dale, under the management of Bob Stokoe, who had a squad of only 15, kicked-off the new season at home to Scunthorpe United.
Dale were 3-2 victors, having gone 3-0 up. Reg Jenkins netted twice from the spot, while Dennis Butler was also on the score sheet.
Butler opened the scoring with half an hour played, smashing a powerful right-footed effort from 20-yards into the back of the net, after good link up play with Vince Leech. Rochdale doubled their advantage during stoppage time in the first half when Billy Rudd was felled inside the area. Jenkins, hit home the resulting penalty, giving Dale a comfortable half-time lead.
After the break, Jenkins extended Rochdale’s lead further, again from the spot, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way, after the visitors had handled inside the area from dangerous corner ball.
The visitors reduced the deficit as the game entered the final quarter of an hour, scoring a free-kick from inside the area, and got their second of the game just three minutes later. Goalkeeper Chris Harker had kept out an initial low drive but could do nothing to keep out the rebound.
The Rochdale Observer, printed at the time, wrote: 'A distinguished performance did not get an equally distinguished scoreline.
'Despite the dangerous generosity displayed in the closing quarter of an hour, this Rochdale opening [game] was one which had encouraging pattern of distinctive line and hue.
'If the bold facts, winner by a goal and two penalty kicks to two goals, suggests otherwise then the facts are misleading.
'Scunthorpe, for all their feeble protests about absence of justice, gave away two penalties simply because legitimate retort to Rochdale’s lively raiding was not strong enough or sufficiently concerted to turn back the home team’s flood of attacks.'
The line-up | Chris Harker, Vince Radcliffe, Colin Parry, Joe Ashworth, Derek Ryder, Vince Leech, Bill Rudd, Norman Whitehead, Joe Fletcher, Reg Jenkins and Dennis Butler.
Want to read more? Pick up a copy of TVOS this Saturday. There's a Golden Years feature in it.