This season marks 50 years since Rochdale secured their first ever promotion. As part of a special Friday Flashback feature, we’re continuing to delve into the archives to take a look back at how this was achieved…
Not for the first time during the league campaign, Rochdale were forced to share the points, with Workington Town providing the opposition this time around.
In fact, it was Dale’s seventh draw in ten games, with the side also having won two and lost one of their opening fixtures.
But it wasn’t the score line, or probably the game itself, that would have been the talk of the terraces. It would have been the news that manager Bob Stokoe had left the day before to join Carlisle United.
It was a bolt from the blue, a surprise to all, but the Rochdale Board moved quickly to appoint Len Richley as his successor.
Richley had been Stokoe’s assistant, so made the move seamlessly, and as history suggests, his tenure at the helm was very successful, as he steered Rochdale to their first ever promotion.
His first game in charge, as mentioned, saw Dale claim a point from a goalless draw against Workington at Spotland.
The performance was perhaps below par, with the Rochdale Observe writing: ‘The problem the old ruler couldn’t quite beat loomed larger for his heirs, magnified by a Workington team who made their point long before the end.
‘For at least one point was obviously the object of their exercise. The outcome was another empty barrel making, for Rochdale, a noise like a particularly dull thud.’
Rochdale XI | Harker, Radcliffe, Parry Ashworth, Ryder, Leech, Rudd, Butler, Fletcher (Jenkins 62’, Melledew, Melling.