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More reports by 'Bomber' from seasons past....

The highlight of the 41st BURKS season was the 40th Anniversary match at Spotland against Luton. 82 caps awarded for the 17 games attended, with 1 new cap. The following were the award winners: 1.Rookie of the Year – Rodolfo Lopes (1 Cap) 2.BURK of the Year – Nick Carter (12 Caps)
The final game of the season at Charlton was seen by 6 BURKS, where Dale were beaten 4-0. Leaving it late for the season, a new cap was awarded to Rodolfo Lopes.
A memorable Easter Monday win at Bristol Rovers was seen by six BURKS, where Dale won 1-0 to all but secure their place in League One for next season.
The game at Fratton Park against Portsmouth was seen by five BURKS, as Dale were beaten 4-1 by the promotion chasers.
Just three BURKS made the trip to Gillingham, where Dale, now under the management of Brian Barry-Murphy, drew 1-1 for a valuable away point in the struggle to stay in League One.
Nine BURKS were at the game against Luton, at what turned out to be Keith Hill's last match in charge, where Dale lost 2-0 to the league leaders.
Fours BURKS were in attendance at Peterborough, where Dale were beaten 2-1.
Fours BURKS were in attendance at Southend to witness Dale win at Roots Hall for the first time since 1985, which coincidentally was the BURKS first ever away win (after 32 previous away matches without a win). A Callum Camps header in the 87th minute secured Dale an unlikely 2-1 win, given that Southend had equalised 5 minutes earlier. Chris Bates has the distinction of having been at both matches.
Nine BURKS were at AFC Wimbledon, where the match ended in a 1-1 draw.
The first ever caps were awarded for a match involving the Dale Youth Team, as Chris Bates and Richard Greenfield went to Queens Park Rangers for the 3rd Round of the FA Youth Cup, where Dale were unlikely beaten 3-2 after extra time.
Five BURKS made the midweek trip to Oxford, where Dale were beaten 4-2
Eleven BURKS were at Spotland on 3rd November 2018 for the game against Luton Town to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the first BURKS match against Crewe on 4th November 2018. The match ended 0-0.
Five BURKS were at the midweek game against Wycombe, which Dale lost 3-0.
Six BURKS went to the 2-2 draw against Blackpool.
A solo cap was awarded to Nick Carter who went to the match at Sunderland, which Dale lost 4-1.
Rob Hammond was awarded a solo cap for attending the match at Scunthorpe, which Dale drew 3-3.
Two BURKS were at the match at Coventry, which Dale won 1-0.
Three BURKS were at Burton Albion for the first game of the season, which Dale won 2-1.
The 40th BURKS season was probably to most memorable of all, with a run to the FA Cup Fifth Round, with a home tie with Tottenham and a replay at Wembley and a dramatic final set of games that ended in survival in League One. 199 caps awarded for the 22 games attended, with 26 new caps. The following were the award winners: 1.Rookie of the Year – Mark Burden (3 Caps) 2.BURK of the Year – Barry Gigg & Nick Carter (14 Caps)
Tom Cross and his wife Tania were at Spotland to see Dale dramatically beat Charlton 1-0 and retain their League One status for another season.
Seventeen BURKS, including 2 new caps, saw Dale lose 2-1 to Oxford that meant League One survival was out of their hands.
Duncan & Amy Battman were at Spotland for the crucial relegation 6 pointer with Oldham, which ended 0-0.
Five BURKS were at Peterborough, where Dale memorably won 1-0, having played most of the second half with 10 men.
The annual BOYOS match was attended by 11 BURKS, who saw Dale win 1-0 at promotion chasing Rotherham.
Cup fever had taken a hold, as 62 tickets were bought for the 5 th Round FA Cup Replay with Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley. Unfortunately, due the freezing weather and snow, 44 BURKS were at the game, including 17 new caps, which was just short of the record of 48. Despite losing 6-1, there was the memorable equaliser from Steve Humphrys to saviour and a 1-1 half time score. The match was Bob Champion’s 100th Cap, which took him 38 years to achieve. Also, Helen Blanchard attended her first match since October 1994.
For what was arguably Rochdale’s biggest ever home match, 22 BURKS were at Spotland for the 5th Round FA Cup tie with Tottenham Hotspur, which ended in 2-2 draw, following a dramatic 93rd minute equaliser from Stephen Davies.
Nine BURKS, including new caps for Charles Dunsby and Ben Farrington, went to the 3-2 midweek defeat to Bristol Rovers.
Four BURKS were at the FA Cup 4th Replay at home to Millwall, where Dale won 1-0 to set up a 5th round home tie against Tottenham Hotspur
Four BURKS were at Northampton to Dale win 1-0, their first league away win for 10 months.
Fifteen BURKS were at Millwall to see Dale draw 2-2 in an exciting FA Cup fourth round match. First cap for Benjamin Curnow and Tessa Bell attended her first match since 2003.
As a pre-cursor to Chris Bates’ 60th Birthday party, 12 BURKS were at Gillingham, where Dale lost 2-1, with first caps for Mark Burden and Jess Efezeybek. The match was a milestone for Paul Blanchard, who reached 300 caps.
Four BURKS were at Doncaster where Dale unexpectedly won 1-0 in the FA Cup third round.
Felix Delongchamp became the first 6 th Generation BURK when accompanying his daughter (Tania) and son-in-law (Tom Cross) to the 2-1 home defeat to Blackpool on New Year’s Day.
10 BURKS where at Slough for the FA Cup second round tie with non-league Slough Town, where Dale won 4-0.
10 BURKS, including new cap John Ball where at the midweek game at Charlton, where Dale lost 2-1, where Nick Carter got his 200th cap.
Dunc Battman made a solo trip to see Dale lose 3-1 in the local derby with Oldham.
Tom Cross and two other BURKS were at Spotland to see Dale beat Bromley 4-0 in the first round of the FA Cup.
Four BURKS were at AFC Wimbledon, where Dale drew 0-0 in dull game.
On the way to starting the Dales Way, four BURKS were at the home game with Blackburn Rovers, where Dale were well beaten 3-0.
Four BURKS made the trip to Southend to see Dale draw 0-0
The 40th BURKS season started with an opening day 2-0 defeat to Portsmouth at a packed Fratton Park, a match in which Barry Gigg got his 100th cap.
The 39th BURKS season saw 133 caps awarded for the 22 games attended. The following were the award winners: 1.Rookie of the Year – Pat Hill (5 Caps) 2.BURK of the Year – Nick Carter (14 Caps)
The annual BOYOS match was attended by 10 BURKS to see Dale lose 1-0 to Shrewsbury in the spring sunshine.
Five BURKS, including new cap James Morgan-Snowley, saw the midweek 3-1 loss to AFC Wimbledon.
To ensure keeping the lead in the race for BURKS of the year, Nick Carter & Alan Wilson were at Chesterfield, where Dale won 3-1.
Just three BURKS went to MK Dons, where Dale drew 2-2
Five BURKS saw Dale lose 3-1 at Perterborough.
Two more new BURKS (Andy & Helena Perry) were amongst the five BURKS who saw Dale lose 1-0 to Bolton Wanderers.
Thirteen BURKS were at the FA Cup Fourth Round match at Spotland against Huddersfield, where Dale lost 4-0. DanialBhangar made his debut at the match.
Tom Cross recruited more new caps for the game against Oxford at Spotland, where Dale lost 4-0. There were debuts at this match for Bryan Friedman and Ashly Foote, with Ashly Foote becoming the 300th BURK.
Six BURKS were in the home end at Barrow to see Dale win 2-0 in the FA Cup Third Round.
Tom Cross and gang were back at Spotland to see Dale beat top of the table Scunthorpe 3-2. There were debuts at this match for Tania Delongchamp and Julia Gorgemans.
Four BURKS went to Gillingham to see Dale lose 3-0.
Tom Cross, back from his travels and living in Manchester, went to the Swindon home match, which Dale won 4-0. Pat Hill from the USA made his debut at the match.
A 94th minute equaliser in the FA Cup First Round at Maidstone, to enable Dale to escape with a 1-1 draw was seen by 13 BURKS, including Thom Critchley who made his debut.
A second defeat in 4 days was seen by five BURKS at Coventry, where Dale lost 2-0.
Five BURKS made the midweek trip to Swindon to see Dale lose 3-0
Duncan Battman and the Weston family made a rare appearance at Spotland to see Dale win 3-0. To continue the season of comebacks, Chris Weston’s third cap was awarded 17 years after his second.
Eight BURKS were awarded caps at Charlton, where Dale’s good run continued with a 1-0 win.
Six BURKS were at Millwall to see Dale memorably win 3-2. This match was notable for Catherine Blanchard making her first appearance since Orient in 1999 and coincidently exactly 28 years to the day of her first match at Grimsby in 1988. Catherine also has fallen victim of having to pay full price.
Three BURKS made the trip to Bristol Rovers to see Dale draw 2-2.
Alan Wilson (Uncle Al) got his 200th Cap, who along with Barry Gigg were at Oxford to see Dale lose 1-0.
The 39th BURKS season got under way with 8 BURKS making the trip on a hot summer’s evening to Queens Park Rangers, where Dale lost 2-1. This match was notable for Sarah Bates making her first appearance since Charlton in January 2005 and now having to pay full price to get in.
The 38th BURKS season saw 61 caps awarded for the 11 games attended. The following were the award winners: a)Rookie of the Year – Tom Tickner & Jack Chatwin (2 Caps) b)BURK of the Year – Nick Carter (9 Caps)
Ten BURKS made the first ever trip to Port Vale, where Dale were beaten 4-1
Five BURKS made the trip to Peterborough, to see Dale win 2-1.
Seven BURKS were at Coventry where Dale won 1-0 with a last minute penalty.
The 2-0 defeat at Crewe was seen by 4 BURKS
Five BURKS saw perhaps one the best performance ever seen as Dale won 3-0 at league leaders Walsall.
The 2-1 defeat at Swindon was seen by seven BURKS
Just three BURKS made the midweek trip to Gillingham, where Dale lost 2-0
Four BURKS saw Dale come back from 2 down to draw 2-2 at Southend
James Webb on a weekend visit to the University of Manchester got to Spotland to see Dale lose 3-1 to Bradford City, which was his 50 th cap.
Nine BURKS and new cap ZakirAsver saw Dale lose 3-1 at Millwall.
For the first game of the season, two BURKS and new caps Tom Tickner and Jack Chatwin saw Dale lose 1-0 at Burton.
The Boyos weekend took in the last game of the season at Barnsley, where 10 BURKS saw Dale lose 5-0.
Four BURKS were at the game at Gillingham, where Dale had 2 players sent off and lost 1-0
Nick Carter made the trip on Good Friday to Preston to see Dale lose 1-0
Alan Wilson made a welcome return to the fold and attended the 2-1 win at Notts County to move to 198 caps, alongside new cap Martin Smith.
Seven BURKS were in attendance at Bristol City, where Dale were beaten 1-0.
Four BURKS saw the 2-1 defeat at Peterborough United.
Nick Webb and son James made the midweek trip up to Walsall, where Dale lost 3-2.
The regular five BURKS were on duty for the first visit to The Ricoh Arena to see Dale draw 2-2 against Coventry City in an entertaining match.
Nine BURKS made the trip to Spotland to see Dale pull off a shock 1-0 FA Cup win against Nottingham Forest in the third round.
Duncan and Joe Battman saw the games against Colchester away (won 4-1) and Fleetwood home (lost 0-2).
Eight BURKS went to Aldershot for the Sunday afternoon FA Cup second round match that ended 0-0.
Duncan Battman made a solo trip to Spotland to see Dale beaten 3-0 by Oldham.
An excellent 2-2 draw midweek at MK Dons was seen by 6 BURKS.
The FA Cup 1st Round match at Northampton was watched by four BURKS, where Dale played most of the game with 10 men and got a well deserved 0-0 draw and had chances to win.
Four BURKS saw Dale win 3-0 at Yeovil to make it 3 wins out of 3 with 10 goals scored.
A thrilling stoppage time winner at Swindon, where Dale won 3-2, was seen by five BURKS and a new cap, making the midweek trip well worth while.
A new season in League 1 got off to a winning start as 3 BURKS saw Dale ease to a 4-0 win at Crawley.
Having sealed promotion the previous week, 10 BURKS were at Newport to see if Dale could go up as champions. However, Dale were beaten 2-1 and had to settle for third place after the last game of the season.
Hopes for promotion were restored with a 2-1 win at Bristol Rovers on Easter Monday, which was seen by 4 BURKS.
Duncan and Joe Battman were back at Spotland on Good Friday to see if Dale could push for promotion. However, Dale were beaten 3-0 by Southend
A welcome return to the fold for Alan Wilson, who was at the Mansfield game with one other BURK. Dale were beaten 3-0 by a strong and physical Mansfield team.
Duncan Battman made a rare appearance at Spotland to see Dale beat Portsmouth 3-0 to stay top of the table
The two BURKS who made the midweek trip to Northampton were well rewarded with a comprehensive 3-0 by Dale.
Four BURKS made the trip to Exeter to see Dale win 1-0
Scott Hogan scored a 16 minute hat-trick in Dale’s 3-0 win at AFC Wimbledon, which was seen by seven BURKS.
Six BURKS made the pre-Christmas Friday night game at Southend, which ended in a 1-1 draw.
A single BURK made the trip to Rotherham for the FA Cup Second Round tie, which Dale won 2-1 to set up a third round tie home to Leeds United
Our first win of the season, 2-0 at Torquay in the FA Cup First Round was seen by 5 BURKS.
4 BURKS saw Dale beaten 3-1 at Dagenham & Redbridge.
The BURKS season got off to a uneventful start with 10 BURKS, including 2 new caps, seeing Dale looking a bit overawed playing in front on a big crowd at Portsmouth, losing 3-0. The match saw Chris Bates reach 300 caps.
The season concluded with five BURKS seeing Dale beaten 3-0 by Oxford United in a typical end of season game.
11 BURKS on the annual Boyos weekend saw Dale win 3-0 in their first league visit to Fleetwood Town.
After 34 years of asking, Gary Sainsbury finally got his first cap at Bristol Rovers, where with four other BURKS, Dale were a little unlucky to lose the match 2-1.
Four BURKS made the last every trip to Underhill to see Dale draw 0-0 with Barnet, in a game a few chances and very little excitement.
Five BURKS made the trip to Northampton to see Dale lose 3-1.
Six BURKS combined the football and racing at Cheltenham, where Dale drew 0-0 on the first game since Keith Hill’s return.
Four BURKS saw Dale lose 2-1 to a stoppage time goal at Dagenham and Redbridge
Eight BURKS saw Dale lose 4-2 at Aldershot, where the home side doubled their season’s home goal tally of 3 goals in just 45 minutes.
Six BURKS saw Dale lose 3-1 at Southend
Eight BURKS saw Dale win 2-1 at Wycombe Wanderers. It was a match that saw Bob Champion’s 23 year old pre-match drinking record broken by Mick Tickner, who from 1pm knocked back 7 and a half pints and got into the ground in time for kick-off.
Two BURKS saw Dale lose 3-1 to Plymouth Argyle.
Four BURKS saw sweet revenge with a 2-1 win at Gillingham, the first time back since losing the playoff semi-final in 2009
Re-acquaintance with League 2 at AFC Wimbledon was seen by just 2 BURKS, as it coincided with the Hadrians Wall walking trip.
Five BURKS saw the last game of the season at Leyton Orient, where Dale lost 2-1. At the end of match the Nick Carter was given Neil Byrne’s shirt and earlier Chris Bates pushed the veterans pre-match drinking record to 5 pints. So ends a difficult season with no wins seen by the BURKS in 13 games league games attended. It is now back to League 2 and hopefully to re-build to compete at the top end of the table next season.
Ten BURKS plus 2 new caps made the first visit to Spotland for a number of years and saw Dale lose 2-1 to MK Dons in a match played with the gloom of relegation hanging in the air.
Eight BURKS saw Dale lose 3-1 at Yeovil and move a step closer to relegation.
Seven BURKS saw Dale unable to record a shot on target during their 2-0 defeat to Brentford.
Only one BURK made the trip to Colchester where Dale battled for a nil-nil draw.
Three BURKS saw the midweek 1-1 draw with Charlton, but only 2 were awarded caps. One of which was to Paul Blanchard, which took him to 250 caps.
Eight BURKS saw a very poor Dale beaten 3-0 at Wycombe Wanderers. Mick Tickner pushed the veterans pre-match drink record to 4 and a half pints.
One BURK on a ground bagging mission made the trip Sheffield United to Dale lose 3-0.
The FA Cup run was short again this season. A first trip to Bradford City was made by 7 BURKS, who saw Dale lose 1-0 to another 35 yarder.
3 BURKS made the trip to MK Dons, where Dale lost 3-1. A long season struggling for League 1 survival is on the cards.
With the worst defence playing the worst attack, something had to give at Exeter. 6 BURKS saw Dale lose 3-1, in a game that they should have had wrapped up before half-time.
4 BURKS made the trip to Bournemouth to see Dale draw 1-1.
The 2-1 League Cup defeat at Aldershot was seen by 5 BURKS. Newcastle United away will have to wait for another year.
Disappointment for 5 BURKS who saw Dale lose 4-2 at Stevenage.
The new season (and post Hill era) got off to a great start with 12 BURKS seeing the 2-0 League Cup win at Queens Park Rangers.
The end of season trip to Bournemouth was seen by 9 BURKS on their annual Boyos weekend, where Dale finished their season in League One with a 2-1 win.
7 BURKS saw Dale lose 3-1 to Charlton on Easter Monday.
7 BURKS made the trip to Colchester, where Dale were beaten 1-0 in the Essex sunshine.
2 BURKS saw Dale continue their late push for the playoffs with a 2-1 win at Notts County.
The 1-1 draw at ‘wind blown’ Swindon Town was seen by six BURKS. Normal service was not quite restored for Charlie Webb. Although awarded a cap, he watched the game with his Dad from the directors box, but did cheer the Dale goal.
Seven BURKS saw Dale record a successive 1-0 away victory at Yeovil. However there were eight BURKS at the game. Charlie Webb’s running out as the Yeovil mascot denied him his cap. However, he did tell me that Gary Jones was told he was a Rochdale fan while lining up in the tunnel and that normal service will be resumed at Swindon in a fortnight’s time.
The first game of 2011 saw five BURKS see Dale grind out a 1-0 win at Dagenham & Redbridge, where a classy finish from Chris O’Grady was enough to seal the three points. As far as the BURKS were concerned, this match saw the end of our good friend Nick Brierley’s 23 years of attending every Rochdale game. In a text received, he stated it was “the end of the party”. However, having gleaned some additional information from a close source, it would appear that it is the start of a new party. One where you get dragged round the shops on a Saturday afternoon. Good luck Nick!
Alan & Joyce endured the 2-0 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday sitting with their friends in the home end. We will never know if they would have been brave enough to have cheered a Rochdale goal.
“I’m not a violent person, but I want to hit the referee!”. These were the words being shouted amongst the seven BURKS, following an almost criminal decision by the referee to award Leyton Orient a penalty at the beginning of the second half. From being on top and cruising at one nil, the match turned on his ludicrous decision into a 2-1 defeat. When you lose eight nil, you don’t feel hard done by, but this one really hurt.
Nine BURKS saw Dale lose 2-1 in a tight game at Bristol Rovers, their third single goal defeat in a row.
Unfortunately it was a case of ‘after the lord mayor’s show’ following Tuesday’s exploits against Huddersfield, as 7 BURKS saw Dale lose 1-0 at Exeter. But 16 points from 10 games is a great start to the season.
Local BURK Dunc Battman was fortunate enough to witness another great Dale win. This time 3-0 at home against one of the promotion favourites, Huddersfield Town.
An unbelievable 2-0 win at Southampton was seen by nine BURKS and was without doubt one of the best results seen over the past 32 years. Goals from Chris O’Grady and a Gary Jones thunderbolt gave Dale a superb win and one that will linger in the memory!
Less than 48 hours after walking out of St. Andrews, we were back at Brentford and 5 BURKS saw a great 3-1 win by Dale. Jason Kennedy’s first goal for Dale then saw him sent off for celebrating with about 6 Dale fans, who should have advised him to hang back! Dale saw out the remaining 28 minutes with a few alarms, but a third win in a row at Brentford was duly accomplished.
Despite traffic jams on the M1 and an unplanned detour up the M6 Toll road, 2 BURKS made the Thursday evening trip to premiership club Birmingham City for the 2 nd Round League Cup tie. An excellent Dale performance saw them take the lead before a diabolical penalty decision by the linesman bought the scores level. 2 early second half goals from the Blues did not stop Dale and a second goal from Gary Jones set up a final 15 minutes that could not produce an equaliser. The Thursday evening trip up to Birmingham in the rain was well worth the effort.
New territory for the BURKS with 16, including 6 new caps, seeing our first ever Dale game in the third tier of the English League. A creditable 2-2 draw at Brighton & Hove Albion saw Gary Jones capitalise on a howler by their keeper in the second minute of stoppage time to gift Dale an equaliser.
The BURKS season got off to a winning start with a 2-1 win at Northampton Town and was watched by 3 BURKS. This match marked Nick Carter’s 100th cap, some nineteen and a half years after debuting at Crystal Palace in the FA Cup fifth round. Looking at the records, Will Buckley’s winning goal was the 100th goal scored by Dale during those 100 games.
It was just like watching Brazil! The second half performance was possibly the best any of us had seen watching The Dale over the years. Nine unbelievable minutes against the side top of the table was seen by 8 BURKS, who talked the match through long into the evening. Despite Chris Bates’ prediction that Nathan Stanton would get sent off coming true, Dale won 4-0 with a great display that was capped off with ‘keep ball’ in the last 10 minutes.
There is ever a dull moment watching Dale these days! This was very much the case for the 12 BURKS who went to Luton for FA Cup Round One. The gloom of being 3 down after 28 minutes was removed with a great second half performance that was capped off with two goals in the last 3 minutes from Joe Thompson to earn Dale a 3-3 draw. The match was also notable for the introduction of a new pre-match beer drinking record for the BURKS veterans (Over 50’s). First holders of the record are Chris Bates and Alan Wilson with a meagre total of 3 pints.
It was another great day out for the 4 BURKS attending the top of the table clash at Dagenham & Redbridge. A strong second half performance saw Dale come back from being totally out of the game and fortunate to be just the one goal down at half-time. A two quick goals mid-way through the second half sealed a great 2-1 win. A combination of the Hole in the Wall at Waterloo Station and the Barking Dog in Barking, saw the Veterans Pre-Match drinking record creep out to 3 and a half pints (shared by Paul Blanchard & Howard Bell).
3 BURKS attended the Christmas home match against Morecambe, which Dale won 4-1
After missing out with the postponement of New Year fixture against Rotherham, the season was back on with seven BURKS attending the midweek fixture at Aldershot. After nearly 3 weeks without a match, a 1-1 draw was a good result for the Dale and kept the momentum of the championship push.
The 4-1 win at Cheltenham Town that moved Dale nine points clear at the top of the table was seen by nine BURKS. A Chris O’Grady hat-trick and a goal from Craig Dawson made it another great day in this unbelievable season.
2 BURKS attended the crucial home game against Rotherham, which Dale won 4-0.
A BURKS weekend in Shrewsbury saw eight BURKS attend the match, which Dale won 1-0 with a goal from Joe Thompson. Paul Blanchard pushed the veteran’s pre-match drinking record to four pints.
3 BURKS made the Easter trip to Chesterfield, which the BURKS unbeaten record for the season broken by a 2-0 defeat with both goals being penalties. However, it’s still looking good fro promotion!
A win at Torquay would have taken Dale up. However, a 5-0 nil defeat and their worst performance of the season by far was seen by 4 BURKS hoping for a promotion party in Devon. To quote Chris Bates “That’s more like it!”.
The promotion match against Northampton was missed by the BURKS. After 32 years of support that started at home to Crewe in front of a crowd of just 1,325, it has been great to watch Dale win promotion this season, despite the fall away in form in the last month. The 3 goals in nine minutes at Bournemouth was probably the highlight.
2 BURKS with not far to travel for the top v second clash at Notts County, saw Dale lose 1-0.
10 BURKS combined their annual Boyos weekend with a trip to Hereford. With promotion secured, Dale lost a low-key game 2-1.
7 BURKS attended the final game of the season at Barnet, where Dale lost 1-0. Losing seven of the last nine matches has taken the edge off a great season. Life in League One is likely to be tough next season and we’ll there to support the team whatever their league position is. Just like the old days.
The BURKS season got under way with a 2-1 win at Notts County, watched by four BURKS (the local Nottingham Contingent plus Chris & Robbie Bates making the most of half-term break).
The kind turnstile operators at Brentford took pity on some of the 9 BURKS attending and admitting some into the ground as seniors. Another great 2-1 win was made the sweeter this season by not having to watch the Boat Race after the game!
Cup fever hit Barnet a week later where 15 BURKS saw a rather low-key 1-1 draw. Howard Bell became the fourth BURK to hit the milestone of 200 caps. Howard’s 100 th Cap was also in the cup, the famous match at Gretna in 1991 and his debut at Tranmere in 1979 for the second round cup tie.
4 BURKS braved a cold night for the midweek match at Gillingham, where Dale took a creditable point. A great save by Sam Russell kept us in the game at 1-0 before Adam le Fondre majestically curled a twenty yarder into the top right hand corner for a share of the spoils.
A very disappointing defeat at Forest Green Rovers in the second round of the cup was seen by 6 BURKS. No complaints, as Dale were beaten by the better side who were clearly ‘up’ for the match. Good luck to FGR in the next round.
The 4-1 tonking at Exeter was seen by 8 BURKS. Although it was nice to go back to Exeter, it has never been a happy hunting ground, with just one win in 13 visits. After a gap of 6 years, normal service at Exeter has been resumed.
Nine BURKS came away from the game at Dagenham & Redbridge wondering how this one got away. A very encouraging attacking performance was under minded when we conceded two late goals. If only Evil had buried his last minute chance.
A great first half performance by Dale saw a 4-0 scoreline to “The Football League” and was seen by 13 BURKS, including 4 making their debut. A special mention for Pete Crouch, who got his second cap 23 years and 8 months after his first.
Only three BURKS attended the midweek game at Barnet, where Dale’s promotion push was dented with a 2-1 defeat in wet and windy conditions. It would have been four BURKS, but the Webmaster had to ‘watch’ the match from his hospital bed on the Sky Sports vidiprinter.
In the spring sunshine at Wycombe, 12 BURKS saw Dale put on a great performance that was rewarded with a last minute goal to win the game 1-0. The match saw an unbelievable ‘miss’ by Wycombe in the first half, after Frank Fielding lost the ball on the touchline, he somehow managed to chase back, put in a tackle and then get back in the goal to make a save!
The BURKS retirees saw the disappointing 3-0 midweek defeat at Chesterfield, which is a big blow to the automatic promotion hopes. The defeat was harder for them, as Jack Lester used to live in the flat above them in his Nottingham Forest days.
Promotion jitters and a very poor performance at Bournemouth was seen by 11 BURKS. The mood at the end was in total contrast to the euphoria following the win at Wycombe. It reminded us of the reason we all support Rochdale in the first place.
A strong second half performance at Luton after a half-time shake up was seen by eight BURKS. The draw was enough to secure a successive place in the play-offs and a great achievement by the club. When walking into the ground it was strange to walk under someone’s bedroom having gone through the turnstile. Good luck to Luton in their bid to get back in the league next season.
Bob Champion, son Connor and two new caps saw the end of season home defeat by Gillingham. Bob has managed 4 caps this season. His previous 4 caps spanned 9 years!
The play-off semi final defeat at Gillingham was seen by 7 BURKS. A valiant effort from Dale was not quite enough and we could have snatched an equaliser at the death. It has been a really good season, with the highlight being the win at Wycombe. We will be back again next year, with some familiar venues back on the scene. Up the Dale!
A rather subdued start to our thirtieth season supporting the 'Dale. A solo appearance at Edgar Street for the 1-1 draw with Hereford Utd and a turnout of five for the 0-0 draw against Barnet at Underhill.
Nine BURKS made it to Roots Hall to see another swift departure from the FA Cup.
A great result at Wycombe was seen by 6 BURKS. Founder member Chris Bates celebrated his 250th Cap and Barry Gigg, his 50th. To celebrate Chris’ 50th birthday, he his being treated to a VIP trip to Spotland in April and has 3 months to choose which records to be played in his honour at half time!
A battling performance at MK Dons was seen by 8 BURKS, where a great penalty save by Sam Russell and a Gary Jones goal inspired 10 man Rochdale to a memorable win. 10 men, we only need 10 men!
Two BURKS made their short trip to Notts County to see the 1-0 defeat.
Another great away win at Brentford was seen by 7 BURKS, including Keith Bridges, who waited 18 years to attend his second match having made is debut at Maidstone in April 1990. Keith, see you again in 2026!
BURKS legend Chris Bates enjoyed a VIP day at Spotland for the game against Grimsby, accompanied by his son Robbie, brother Ed and nephew Charlie and along with Phil Mair and son Jimmy, a great day was had by all. Rene Howe’s hat-trick in the 3-1 win was the icing on the cake.
Ten BURKS braved the weather for the 1-1 draw with Dagenham & Redbridge, where with better finishing we could have taken all 3 points.
Click here  to read all about our FA Cup adventures
BURKS Record Broken
With the season concluding at Wembley, a BURK record was broken by Arthur Bell. Father of one of the BURKS legends Howard Bell, Arthur eclipsed the record held by the late Ron Webb (a legend himself in the history of Braintree Town FC and non-league football) and pushed the record out to 78 years 346 days.