Rochdale is situated in a valley with The Pennines to the east and the Rossendale Hills to the north. The valley was created by The River Roch (pronounced Roach), which flows off the Pennines and through the town. A large section of the river has been covered and paved forming what is claimed to be the widest bridge in the world (1460 feet wide and about 20 feet long)! It is also famed as the birthplace of Gracie Fields, the wartime "forces favourite" known for the song Sally, Pride of our Alley.
Rochdale FC was formed in 1907 and eventually played their first League game on 27th August 1921 running out 6-3 winners over Accrington Stanley. Despite spending most of their time in the lower divisions, in 1961/62 they reached the final of the League Cup losing to Norwich City over two legs having beaten Southampton, Doncaster Rovers, Charlton Athletic, York City and Blackburn Rovers along the way. Over the years the Club has suffered many financial problems and has managed a promotion only once during its history which came during the season 1968/69 under the managership of Bob Stokoe.
All four sides of the Spotland Stadium have been redeveloped in the last ten years making it now one of the best grounds we will visit this season. Away fans are accommodated in the Westrose Leisure Stand (Willbutts Lane) that officially houses 3644 supporters and is the newest of the stands offering unrivalled views of the game.
Facilities beneath the stand include a well-stocked catering kiosk where the pies are claimed to be among the best in the land.
The Bulls will arrive at Spotland on Saturday to face a team that has just four wins from the last thirty-three starts.
Admission Adults £15 Concessions £9
Travel by Car - Spotland is just over two miles off Junction 20 of the M62 following signs for Rochdale A627M. Bear left at your first opportunity prior to the traffic lights passing B & Q on your right. You will quickly approach a roundabout at which you will pick up the signs for Spotland Stadium directing you to take the second exit. After about two miles you will find the stadium on your left.
Trains - Via Manchester to Rochdale. The Station is about three miles from the ground and therefore a 30/35-minute walk so a taxi may be the answer. Alternatively, the 436 bus picks up at the station half hourly on match days (quarter to/past) and drops off in Sandy Lane next to the ground. Please note, the last bus back from Sandy Lane is at 17.10!
HUISA Coaches leave Edgar Street at 9.30 am and the fare is understood to be £16.00 Tickets can be booked through the Club office (01432 276666)
HUMADS Pick up at Ross (Cantilupe Road) 8.00 am, Ground 9.00 am, Malvern (Cross Keys) 10.00 am, and Worcester (Junc 7) 10.30 am. Fare £15.00 Members and £18.00 non Members Contact Reg on 01684 572945.
PRE-MATCH REFRESHMENTS - Rochdale offers a plethora of Pubs within a five-minute walk of the ground. Of particular note in the town is the Cask and Feather at 1 Oldham Road, which is the "brewery tap" for the Thomas McGuinness Brewing Co. The local Wetherspoons offering is the Regal Moon in The Butts which is a converted cinema and any lovers of Hydes beer can find satisfaction at the Merry Monk in College Road. At the ground is Studds Bar, which is accessible from outside the ground while the Ratcliffe Arms is to be found at the car park entrance to the ground in Sandy Lane. Also close to Spotlands are the highly recommended Cemetery Hotel at the traffic lights on the approach to the ground and The Church Inn on the corner of Willbutts Lane.
Finally, http://www.locallife.co.uk/rochdale/pubs3.asp offers a quite frightening list including telephone numbers for those who want to make their own enquiries.