Bath University Rochdale Keen Supporters (The BURKS)



Last update 6th May 2014

·         Welcome to the home page of some of Rochdale AFC's semi-detached supporters from down south, now in their 31st  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!

·         Read a little more about the history of the BURKS here.

 

Season 2013-14

·         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.

A spreadsheet gives full details of BURKS attendances this season.

Season 2012-13

·         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.

Season 2011-2012

·         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.

Season 2010-2011

·         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 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.

·         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.

Season 2009-2010

·         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.

Season 2008-2009

·         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 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.

·         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!

Season 2007 / 2008

·         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.

·         Playoff 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 match.

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 their pub!

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.

The pub 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?

Wembley Woes

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!

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. Can Alan Wilson stay off the cigars long enough to beat it?

 

·         Details of BURKS support over the years can be accessed with the following link:

·         BURKS peerage

·         Also, track is kept of a few 'records' for BURKS:

·         BURKS records

·         For the real anoraks, access the complete BURKS file, with full details going back to 1978.

BURKS file

 

·         The BURKS pages are brought to you by Nick Carter, who can be contacted at: webmaster@theburks.org

 

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