Rotherham United: History beckons as Millers chase best start in six decades

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Rotherham United have the chance to make the club’s best start to a league campaign for 65 years on Saturday.

If they avoid defeat against Oldham at the New York Stadium, they will have been unbeaten in their opening seven league games and that would be a better start than anything since 1948.

The Millers still have a way to go to match that start of the 1948/49 season when they didn’t lose any of their first 11 games. That is the club’s record start to a season. Then they were in the Third Division North - at that time the two divisions below the top two were regionalised, split into North and South.

Rotherham’s win over Sheffield United, taking them to six unbeaten, surpassed the unbeaten fives which started the seasons in 2011, 2002 and 1998. The last time the club began with six (league) unbeaten was 1988 and on only one other occasion has half-a-dozen been reached before a defeat - that was 1946.

So, the minimum of a draw against Oldham will take the current squad clear into second place for a best-ever start. Going back to last season, Rotherham haven’t lost in 11 league games as they won their last five of last season, a run which carried them to promotion as runners-up.

Incidentally, Rotherham didn’t gain promotion back in 1948/49 as only one went up and they finished runners-up to Hull City who, went they met the Millers on Christmas Day 1948, had a gate of 54,652, still a record for the third tier English football.

Rotherham’s opponents next weekend, Oldham, lost 2-1 last night at Preston who jumped up to sixth, two points behind the fourth-placed Millers.

n Two years after leaving the club, Steve Coakley has returned as Commercial Director. Coakley had a successful time with the Millers previously before joining Sheffield United two years ago and his return is a key appointment.