Bath University Rochdale
Keen Supporters (The BURKS)
Last update 5th January 2016
Welcome to the
home page of some of Rochdale AFC's semi-detached
supporters from down south, now in their 38th season of following
the 'Dale. This is accessed via: http://www.theburks.org
Formed on 4th
November 1978 (Rochdale 2, Crewe Alexandra 1),
the BURKS have been following the 'Dale's footballing
fortunes through thick and (mainly) thin ever since. Loyal to the club in the
face of adversity, the BURKS match attendances from December '79 to November
'83 went without seeing a single win. And then it was not until May 1985 that
another win could be celebrated!
The BURKS file
which details the matches attended over the years can be accessed via http://theburksfile.no-ip.org/Burksfile
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 50th cap.
Nine BURKS and
new cap Zakir Asver 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
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
Four BURKS saw
the 2-1 defeat at Peterborough
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.
stoppage time winner at Swindon, where Dale
won 3-2, was seen by five BURKS and a new cap, making the midweek trip well
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.
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.
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
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
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.
concluded with five BURKS seeing Dale beaten 3-0 by Oxford United in a typical end of season
11 BURKS on the
annual Boyos weekend saw Dale win 3-0 in their first
league visit to Fleetwood
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.
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
Two BURKS saw
Dale lose 3-1 to Plymouth
Four BURKS saw
sweet revenge with a 2-1 win at Gillingham,
the first time back since losing the playoff semi-final in 2009
with League 2 at AFC Wimbledon was seen by
just 2 BURKS, as it coincided with the Hadrians Wall
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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 2nd 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.
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
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
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
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
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
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!”.
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.
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).
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 100th
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.
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
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
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!
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
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.
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!
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!
Season 2007 /
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!
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.
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!
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
Ten BURKS braved
the weather for the 1-1 draw with Dagenham & Redbridge, where with better
finishing we could have taken all 3 points.
Heaven in the White Horse, Swanage
An unfortunate scheduling
of the playoff semi final meant it clashed with the annual BURKS Boyos weekend, which this year was on the Isle of Purbeck, Dorset. Chris Bates’ best efforts to get to Spotland were thwarted by the trains, so he had come along
for the weekend. The decision was made to watch the game in nearby Swanage. “It’s only 3 miles to Swanage
– there’s plenty of time” was the cry as we set off along the cliff path at
9:30. As time moved on it became clear we were not going to get there in time
for the kick-off and even more frustratingly at 12:00 we were still out of
mobile phone range! By 12:15, we were in range and had a feint 2 minutes of
commentary over Chris’ phone before that went dead. And then the phone rang
“We’re one down – dodgy penalty” was the cry from Chris. Gloom and doom set in
as we eventually got into Swanage at 12:35. Soaking
wet, we trooped into the White Horse, where Tom, the operative of the controls
for the 63 inch plasma changed it from Cup Final It’s a Knockout to the big
Within 3 minutes
of sitting down, it was back to 1-1, hope was restored. Then a big sigh of
relief when Darlo hit the bar, was followed by
periods of doubt that Dale were going to score. That is until the wonder strike
by David Perkins sent the nine of us into raptures and some looks from the
locals as to why a group of wet blokes in walking gear were dancing around
It could have
gone either way in extra time before the most nerve wracking penalty shoot out
of all time, much worse than watching England in the World Cup. Each time
Dale had to equalise and each time they did, to ever increasing cheers of
relief. Then it was Tommy Lee’s big moment. Having fooled Darlo’s
players in a false sense of security with the first 4 penalties, he ‘cleverly’
covered the straight down the middle shot with his trailing leg and the pub
erupted again. Even our new mate Tom was joining in the cheering. Then with
hearts pumping, up stepped Ben Muirhead and the rest
is history. Dale had made it. We were off to Wembley! 30 years of hurt, never
stopped us dreaming.
Then in the
evening, the first ever BURKS discussion on how much to spend on tickets for a
Wembley final! How many for £36? How many for £46? Alan Wilson later assumed
that in true BURKS style we would opt for £26. But it will down to every BURK
to make their choice as to where to watch the game from and to enjoy the big
day. As for me, £80.
rendezvous is 12:00, lets make sure we don’t set off for the ground too late,
or will have to find another White Horse. Hang on - White Horse, Wembley.
Anyone remember 1923?
It wasn’t to be
for Rochdale, as a record BURKS turnout of 48 saw a valiant Dale performance
fall short against a good Stockport side. My
experience of the day was hampered by having the flu, getting wet on the walk
from the Tube Station and not being let into the pub at 1:30 didn’t help!
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.
The BURKS pages
are brought to you by Nick Carter, who can be contacted at: email@example.com
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