Rochdale Association Football Club is a English professional football club based in Rochdale, Greater Manchester. They play their home matches at Spotland Stadium and are currently managed by Keith Hill. They have an average attendance of 3,231.
After the First World War the Football League was expanded and the club, again, 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 August 27, 1921, winning 6-3. However, this first season ended with the club bottom of the League, having to reapply for membership.
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, replaced by Wigan Athletic.
Rochdale finished bottom for a second time in 1979-80, but were again re-elected - by one vote over Altrincham F.C.. 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.
Other kits have included white shirts with black shorts, white shirts with blue shorts and a blue shirt with white sleeves. Current Rochdale kits and training gear are manufactured by Nike.
The Dale have had sponsored shirts since 1983, the most notable sponsor being Carcraft. They are currently sponsored by MMC Estates, a housing company that currently is working in the Spodden Valley area. Other former sponsors include All-in-One Garden Centre, Smith Metals, Carcraft and Keytech.
Rochdale's away kit is white shirts with blue shorts. Other historical away kits have included yellow, teal, green and red.
Rochdale's badge is an adaptation of the old Rochdale town crest, featuring various industrial and heraldic imagery. The blue ring around the outside features the club's full name and also the nickname. Rochdale's motto is the Latin "Crede Signo", which roughly translated means "Believe in the Sign".
Admission prices at Spotland Stadium are as follows:
Main Stand - Adults £19, Concessions £12, Under 7's Free W.M.G Stand - Adults £17, Concessions £10, Under 7's Free Family Area - Adults £15, Under 16's £5, Under 7's Free (maximum 3 children per adult) Thwaites Beer Stand (Terrace) - Adults £14, Concessions £9, Under 7's Free
Westrose Leisure Stand (Willbutts Lane): Adults £18, Concessions £12
Concessions apply to Over 65's and students in full time education.
For notable past players, please see Rochdale A.F.C. players