Former Millers manager passes away...
Rotherham United are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former manager Jim McAnearney, aged 81.
Jim enjoyed a successful playing career which began in England with Sheffield Wednesday, before taking in spells with Plymouth Argyle and Watford.
He was a fully qualified FA coach at the age of just 23, so it came as no surprise when he took on a player/coach role with Bradford City in 1966, where he also had a spell as caretaker manager.
Jim joined the Millers as chief coach to Tommy Docherty in the summer of 1968, and the pair would go on to enjoy an excellent working relationship in the Millmoor dugout.
Following ‘The Doc’s’ departure in November 1968, McAnearney opted to remain with the Millers, where his hopes of being appointed to the vacant managerial post became a reality and he would go on to serve the club until 1973.
During his time at the helm, he took the Millers to three mid-table finishes in Division Three, before a fifth placed finish in 1971/72. The following season proved tough, and relegation followed after a poor end to the campaign, despite finishing on 41 points - the highest ever by a relegated club under the old two points for a win system.
During his time at Millmoor, funds were short which ensured that Jim started what would become a long running promotion from the Club’s youth team, helping to spark the careers of the likes of John Breckin, Mick Leng, Seamus McDonagh, Roy Tunks and Trevor Phillips to name just a few. These players would provide the bedrock for future success in the 70s and early 80s.
After leaving the Millers, Jim would go on to represent Sheffield Wednesday as reserve team coach, before taking up a similar role at Leeds United. He was promoted to chief coach at Elland Road, serving the club until the late 70s.
Away from football he ran successful businesses, with Jim McAnearney (Machine Tools) Ltd, running for many years in the Neepsend area of Sheffield.
Jim was also the brother of former Sheffield Wednesday player, Tom McAnearney.
Everyone at the club would like to pass on their condolences to Jim's family and friends at this time.