1878 as Lunar Rovers. Wound up in 1896.
Re-formed in 1900. Merged with Rotherham County in 1925 to form Rotherham United.
Elected to Division Two 1893. Resigned 1896.
Formerly Lunar Rovers
Wound up 1896
1893-1896 b c f
Merged with Rotherham County to form Rotherham United in 1925
According to the rather perfunctory history on the Rotherham United website, Rotherham Town were formed in 1870. The Reminiscences of Rotherham website, however, suggests that the club actually came into being in 1878 as Lunar Rovers FC, when a group of shop assistants formed a team with the object of playing on moonlit nights and public holidays (since shop workers did not benefit from early closing or Saturdays off). The club became Rotherham FC in 1882 and entered the English FA Cup in 1884, losing 0-5 to Nottingham Forest. Sometime later the club became Rotherham Town and joined the Midland League.
In 1893 the Football League decided to expand the Second Division from 12 to 16 clubs. Town, as champions of the Midlands League for two seasons in a row were elected to one of the four vacant places. The club found it a struggle and had to seek re-election at the end of their first season. In 1896 Town again finished in the bottom three but this time they did not bother to apply for re-election and left the League. Shortly afterwards the club was wound up.
In 1900 the club was reborn as Rotherham FC and joined the Midland League alongside their great local rivals, Rotherham County. While County's fortunes improved, Rotherham (who reverted to the name Rotherham Town around 1905) went into relative decline. In 1919 County were elected to the Football League but they struggled to survive and in May 1925 the two clubs merged to form Rotherham United.
Press reports from the early 20s indicate that Town continued to wear blue and white when organised football resumed after the First World War. After the merger with Rotherham County the reserves wore blue and white striped shirts in trial matches until 1929 and it seems likely that the old shirts were retained as change strips, suggesting that Rotherham Town wore stripes prior to the merger.
- (a) Rotherham United FC (Images of Sport: G Somerton & C Robinson)
- (b) Association of Football Statisticians - provided by Pete Wyatt
- (c) Kjell Hanssen
- (d) Charles Hirst
- (e) British Film Archive (Youtube)
- (f) Athletic News (23 October 1893) submitted by Kingsley (Wrexham AFC)
- (g) Star Green 'Un (21 January 1922, Lincolnshire Standard & Boston Guardian (15 November 1924) submitted by Richard Essen.