By Tony Attwood
The 1960s were not Arsenal’s finest era, and the start of the decade certainly suggested things were amiss. In 1959/60 we came 13th in the First Division and were knocked out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle by Rotherham United.
Our manager was George Swindin and he lasted two more seasons after this disaster before being replaced by the even worse Billy Wright. When people say “we want our Arsenal back” I hope they don’t mean this.
On the other hand the fifties were the golden era for Rotherham United being in the 2nd division and the closest ever to getting into the First, finishing third on goal average.
Drawn against Arsenal in the 3rd round they were given no chance however, but held us to a 2-2 draw at Millmoor after being 2-0 down with 20 mins to go. At Highbury the replay finished 1-1 after extra time and Rotherham apparently won the toss in the boardroom to choose the neutral venue for the third match. They chose Hillsborough and got a crowd of 56,000 and a victory by 2-0. Apparently if we had won the toss it would have been White Hart Lane.
Here’s the Arsenal team:
After the game Arsenal lost just once in the next seven which was a huge improvement in league form. Indeed two days before the second replay Arsenal had lost 0-3 away to Tottenham (which makes the choice of WHL as the ground for the 2nd replay rather odd.
Rotherham however were in no great shape, apart from the Arsenal games, failing to win in the next nine games:
|26 Dec 1959||Rotherham United v Middlesbrough||L||0-2||League Division Two|
|28 Dec 1959||Middlesbrough v Rotherham United||L||3-0||League Division Two|
|02 Jan 1960||Rotherham United v Bristol City||W||3-1||League Division Two|
|09 Jan 1960||Rotherham United v Arsenal||D||2-2||FA Cup|
|13 Jan 1960||Arsenal v Rotherham United||D||1-1||FA Cup|
|16 Jan 1960||Scunthorpe United v Rotherham United||L||2-1||League Division Two|
|18 Jan 1960||Rotherham United v Arsenal||W||2-0||FA Cup|
|23 Jan 1960||Rotherham United v Leyton Orient||D||1-1||League Division Two|
|30 Jan 1960||Rotherham United v Brighton and Hove Albion||D||1-1||FA Cup|
|03 Feb 1960||Brighton and Hove Albion v Rotherham United||D||1-1||FA Cup|
|06 Feb 1960||Rotherham United v Cardiff City||D||2-2||League Division Two|
|08 Feb 1960||Brighton and Hove Albion v Rotherham United||L||6-0||FA Cup|
|13 Feb 1960||Hull City v Rotherham United||L||1-0||League Division Two|
|27 Feb 1960||Huddersfield Town v Rotherham United||L||2-1||League Division Two|
|02 Mar 1960||Rotherham United v Sheffield United||D||0-0||League Division Two|
|05 Mar 1960||Rotherham United v Ipswich Town||L||1-4||League Division Two|
|12 Mar 1960||Bristol Rovers v Rotherham United||L||3-1||League Division Two|
|19 Mar 1960||Rotherham United v Sunderland||W||1-0||League Division Two|
|26 Mar 1960||Brighton and Hove Albion v Rotherham United||D||0-0||League Division Two|
|02 Apr 1960||Rotherham United v Stoke City||W||3-0||League Division Two|
|09 Apr 1960||Portsmouth v Rotherham United||L||2-0||League Division Two|
|16 Apr 1960||Rotherham United v Lincoln City||W||1-0||League Division Two|
|18 Apr 1960||Liverpool v Rotherham United||L||3-0||League Division Two|
|19 Apr 1960||Rotherham United v Liverpool||D||2-2||League Division Two|
|23 Apr 1960||Aston Villa v Rotherham United||L||3-0||League Division Two|
|30 Apr 1960||Rotherham United v Swansea Town||D||1-1||League Division Two|
But it was not all over for Rotherham who actually reached the first ever League Cup final, losing to Villa. Arsenal refused to participate.
In the 1965-6 season they lost 1-0 to Manchester United after a 0-0 draw at Old Trafford. But in 1967-68 they committed suicide getting Tommy Docherty as manager, and getting relegated as well.
So there we are: 18 January 1960. Not exactly our greatest moment.
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The main series
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- The Managers index with two managers that no one else includes!