Formed back in 1898, Rossendale United Football Club have had a long and eventful existence which has seen a lot of success, but also long periods of hardship which has seen the clubs existence in doubt on many occasions.
Their first competitive fixture took place on the 3rd September 1898, and brought a 3-1 home win over Oswaldtwistle Rovers, Jack Read having the honour of scoring the clubs first ever goal. Part way through their first season Rossendale were invited to take over the fixtures of Darwen Reserves in the Lancashire Combination, as they had withdrawn from the League. The club took up the offer, but struggled at the higher level of competition winning just two games out of 17 played.
1899/1900 brought a third new League, and the first silverware to the club. The Central Lancashire League Championship1954/55 Team was won at the first attempt, a feat that would have been repeated the following season but for teams withdrawing part way through the competition.
In 1901/02 Rossendale United began their long association with the Lancashire Combination. The club played in the League for 69 years until they left to join the Cheshire County League in 1970. Success was spread pretty thin on the ground during those years, one Division One Championship win in 1926/27, Runners-Up in 1954/55 and a Division Two Championship in 1956/57 being the only League success.
The Combination Cup was also won twice, in 1929 and 1944, with Rossendale bringing home the Lancashire Junior Cup in 1912 thanks to a 2-1 win over Eccles Borough in the Final. It was also during that time the clubs greatest ever goal scorer, Bob Scott, played for Rossendale United. Between 1959 and 1974 he netted 223 goals in just 203 appearances, including an astonishing 72 goals in the 1959/60 season.
It was when the club left the Combination for the Cheshire League in 1970 that success started to come. The Championship was won at the first attempt in 70/71, with Runners-Up spot claimed in 71/72 and 73/74. Eight other trophies were to arrive at Dark Lane in just five seasons. The Cheshire League Cup, Cheshire League Challenge Shield, Lancashire Floodlit Trophy (twice), Lancashire Floodlit League, Lancashire Junior Cup and Ashworth Cup (twice) were won by arguably the greatest Rossendale United side of all time. There were also two memorable FA Cup runs in the early seventies. The Second Round was reached in 1971/72 before defeat by Bolton Wanderers in front of 12,000 at Gigg Lane brought the run to an end. The other was in 75/76 when Shrewsbury Town claimed a controversial 1-0 win in the First Round to sneak through.