Rochdale. After Emmer and Winton, they're up there with the most famous dales in the land. But who are they, when was it and – for Boro' – why?

Rochdale. After Emmer and Winton, they’re up there with the most famous dales in the land we reckon. But who are they, when was it and – for Boro’ – why? Right now, we’re almost poles apart and the odds on us coming up against them any time soon are slim. But big odds mean big wins and your Totesport promo code can help you get the most bang for your buck if you back us to go up to join the Dale in League One this term. It ain’t impossible guv.

The thought of us taking on Rochdale sometime soon seems far-fetched right now. We ain’t going up and they ain’t coming down. But we had those thoughts once before and that all changed. So, that’s why the latest in our non-BAFTA-nominated nostalgia series heads north. Not just with geography, but (as things stand) places in the League ladder. You scoff now, but this sort of shizzle gets lapped up on Yesterday or ITV3. Just waiting for the call…


Who are Rochdale?

Rochdale? Oh, this story goes a long way back. It’s 112 years to be exact(ish); the Dale forming in 1907. In 1921, they were one of 20 founder members of Division Three North – starting a long-running thing with the League’s bottom two tiers that endures to this very day. Eighth in League One is as good as it’s ever been from them, from what we can tell. And, between 1974 and 2010, the club seemed to be locked into the basement division.


Why do we know Rochdale?

Ah, so many tales to fit into one or two paragraphs that you won’t read properly anyway. This all starts back in 2004 and the second round of the FA Cup. In the first, we’d pulled off a shock indoors against Stockport County – then near the wrong end of Division Two (or League One in the new parlance). How things change, eh? Our reward, though, was another home tie against League opposition: Rochdale.

At the time, the Dale were knocking around the wrong end of Division Three (or League Two). It was only right that we fancied our chances of another cupset. But it wasn’t to be.


What is our record against Rochdale?

Our hopes of getting through to round three that day took a massive hit before we even took to the pitch. Anthony Elding and Dino Maamria, our two top scorers, were both out injured. Going in with a much blunter attack than we’d like, Boro’ hardly made a dent in Dale’s back line. At the other end, we held out until the second half before the pressure told. After falling behind, Andy Woodman was then sent off with no sub keeper available.

Dannie Bulman went between the sticks, conceded another and we saw Dale march on.

But we fast forward on seven years to the 2011-2 League One season and you’ll find us equals for the first (and, to date, only) time. If football is about peaks and troughs, this is where two sides were each end of that spectrum. We won both league meetings against Rochdale, scoring nine goals in the process. Our 5-1 win at Spotland in January was the first match after GW jumped ship for Preston; a decent start for caretaker gaffer Robbo.

Rochdale: Boro’s Record

Our head-to-head: P 3 — W 2 — D 0 — L 1 — F 9 — A 5 — Pts 6 — WR 67%
Our last tango: Rochdale 1-5 Stevenage, 14 January 2012


What happened to Rochdale?

Rochdale ended the 2011-2 season as League One’s least good team. In the same time it took us to sink back down into League Two, however, the Dale were on the way back up – passing us on the stairs. And they’ve been there ever since, as have we in League Two. It has been more likely that a Rochdale relegation will reunite us rather than a Boro’ bounce; a point all that kept the Dale in League One at the end of the 2017-8 campaign.


• WANT TO KNOW MORE? – Rochdale club profile