ROTHERAM UNITED 1974-75
FOURTH DIVISION PROMOTION
TREVOR WOMBLE says it was a pre-season pep talk from manager Jimmy McGuigan which paved the way for promotion. Rotherham had been relegated in 1973 and didn’t pull up any trees the following season.
Womble says that McGuigan demanded his side forget about playing football if they wanted to make the return to the Third Division.
And he proved to be correct as the more ruthless approach saw them lose only two of their opening 13 games eventually ending up third behind Shrewsbury and champions Mansfield.
Womble finished join leading top scorer on 14 with Richard Finney and is quick to credit McGuigan’s pre-season pep talk for promotion:
“Two years earlier we had got relegated to Division Four and we nearly went out of the League because we didn’t know anything about the type of football they played in that division.
“Then went we came back for pre-season our manager said:‘There is something I’ve got to tell you now.
“‘If you want to get out of this division you have got to to kick everybody off the pitch. Forget about trying to play football. Just get stuck in and win the ball and put it in the net’.
“And you know what? It worked! We had been trying to play too much football. We knew that we needed to tighten up and in a big way it helped the lads at the back.
“Jimmy was very honest and said what he thought about you. I remember in one game scoring a couple of first before half time and he praised me.
“Then I went out in the second half and should have scored two more. I came back in and got a right telling off!
“We were very physical back then and could take a hectic schedule. Now they sneeze and they have a game off.” 1. Charlie Bell: He coached at Stockport before becoming a sales director for a Sheffield manufacturer of industrial hygiene products, until retiring in 2011. 2. Trevor Swift: After spending many years working as a butcher in Rotherham’s Centenary Market Hall, he now works for the Royal Mail. 3. Jim McDonagh: He has managed Galway United in Ireland and worked as a goalkeeping coach for a number of clubs in England. His last job was at Sunderland under Martin O’Neill. 4. Tony Henderson: Tony became an Australian international and managed Blacktown City and AC United. He lives in Sydney and is a lorry driver delivering scaffolding. 5. Brian Peck: He worked for Sheffield City Council before becoming head of football development at Sheffield and Hallamshire FA and is a trustee of Rotherham United Community Sports Trust. 6. Trevor Womble: He lives in Maltby and has run a catering company for 30 years after working in his father-in-law’s hotel and co-owning a cafe. 7. Graham Haslam: He is living in Dunsville, Doncaster and runs his own landscape gardening company in the local area. 8. Barry Claxton: Barry served The Millers as kitman, trainer, groundsman and caretaker boss until his retirement. He died in January 2012 9. Jimmy McGuigan: He also managed Crewe, Grimsby Town, Chesterfield and Stockport County. He died in Chesterfield, March 1988 aged 64 10. Bob Delgado: He lives in Boughton. Sales manager for a travel company in Chester since returning from Hong Kong over 30 years ago. 11.Philip Syrat: He is still based locally and has worked in housing for the Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council. 12. Tommy Spencer: Managed Worksop and Matlock, then became a community worker in Worksop before working for Sheffield United’s Football in the Community until retiring. 13. Mike Leng: Lives in Rotherham and has had his own photography business in Wentworth for 30 years. He previously worked in the local steel works until they closed. 14. Alan Crawford: He has worked as a painter and decorator, coached at Bristol City, Blackpool, Stockport County, WBA and Nottingham Forest and has scouted for Rotherham. 15. Fred Robinson: He is based in the Huddersfield area and has spent a number years working for an engineering company. 16. Jimmy Goodfellow: He managed Cardiff City and was then physio at Plymouth and Sunderland before returning to work with Cardiff until retiring. 17. Alan Smith: Physio went on to serve England between 1994 and 2002 and is now running his own practice in Wickersley. 18. Trevor Phillips: An youth international, he settled in Kelsall Tarporley near Chester and works as a painter and decorator. 19. Richard Finney: Has worked for PFA and Rotherham Titans, been operations manager Full Circle Learning, is now head of marketing and communications at Sheffield and Hallamshire FA. 20. Ron Wigg: He settled in Ohio in the USA, and was Ohio South Youth Soccer Association director of coaching when he died in July 1997 aged 48. 21. John Breckin: He has twice been assistant manager of the Millers and also coached at Tranmere and Barnsley. He now works in Mothers Pride bakery. 22. Nigel Davey: He became player-manager of Garforth United, was a self-employed painter and decorator for many years and worked in a school. 23. John Woodall: He returned to his native Goole, and worked as a steel plater and welder. 24. Steve Derrett: He lives in Cardiff and worked for a protective clothing company before retiring.