Date:Wednesday August 28 2013
Aston Villa v Rotherham United might not make anyone other than their own fans sit up and take an interest in this Capital One Cup tie this evening. But, for the Villa and Millers fans it is just that little bit special as it's the repeat of the first ever final of the League Cup competition which took place fifty-two years ago.
The game that season was over two legs - no trip to London and Wembley - the Millers winning the first leg at Millmoor by two goals to nil with Villa winning at Villa Park three-nil after extra time.
Rotherham born left-back Lol Morgan played in that game and spoke to MillersPlayer during the week saying, 'We were a small club who, I would say, played above ourselves although we played in the Second Division with some good results for a long time. We were a Second Division club with small gates and it was a real achievement for the club and the players.
'I don't know why but the two games were played quite a time apart the second being in the following season, but I don't think it would happen these days.
'I was at Rotherham a long time and I don't think there was a better club for spirit. A new player could come here and within two hours he's part of the team. It was always a superb atmosphere and the lads all got on with one another.'
Another former Miller who played that day was left-winger Keith Bambridge also a local born player and he said, 'The Final was one of the highlights of my career. It`s great to see over the following 52 years the competition becoming such a pivotal part of English football.'
Keith played for his home town club from 1955 until he joined Darlington in 1964 while Lol joined the Millers from Huddersfield Town in 1954 before he also moved onto Darlington in 1964 before he finally became their Manager for a while.
That night Aston Villa were managed by Joe Mercer, who had moved to Villa Park from Sheffield United in 1958 and were a young, enthusiastic set of players.
Forward Bobby Thompson was one of those players and he told The Independent, 'The League Cup was special to us, we'd just got promoted and won the Second Division, we went into every game wanting to play. I loved the cup ties, they were always a bit spicier, referees seemed to let you get away with a little bit more than normal.`
His strike partner, Peter McParland, who scored the winning goal for Villa takes up the story saying, 'Rotherham were always a good, tough, strong, hard Second Division team and we knew it would be a hard game. But we were always confident that we could take care of them. We played poorly in the first game and Joe Mercer gave us a bit of a rollicking for it.`
Speaking about his winning goal, Peter said, 'I could tell you, as there is no tape of the game, that I beat six men in the box and knocked it in the back of the net. But I'd be kidding. The ball was popping around the goalmouth, it dropped to me about two feet out and I whacked it in.`
Going onto tonight`s game the former Villa striker said, 'They are young boys. They have been good so far. They've got a lot of promising players there, it is getting the best out of them that is Lambert's job.`
Dundee born Bobby Thompson was a Youth player with both Airedrieonians and Wolves before playing over one hundred and forty times for Villa. After leaving Villa Park he went on to play for Birmingham City and Stockport County.
Irish International Peter McParland made nearly three hundred appearances for Villa scoring around one hundred goals. Leaving Villa in 1962 he moved to Wolves and then Plymouth and Peterborough and went into management with Glentoran back in Ireland before being head coach of the Hong Kong national side for four games.
I suppose in a lot of ways tonight could be the Millers 'cup final` but never underestimate the underdog, after all, Rotherham have nothing to lose tonight. It`s up to Villa to win.
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Date:Wednesday August 28 2013
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