​Albert Parkin: the Totty Cup winner with a colourful Rotherham United history

LINE-UP: Albert Parkin (smiling, far left) with Rotherham United in 1927/28. Photos by MARCUS KILINGER.LINE-UP: Albert Parkin (smiling, far left) with Rotherham United in 1927/28. Photos by MARCUS KILINGER.
LINE-UP: Albert Parkin (smiling, far left) with Rotherham United in 1927/28. Photos by MARCUS KILINGER.
​HE made his mark playing for his school team and went on to make an impression at Rotherham United.

Albert Parkin came from an era when football clubs were flooded with local lads.

Goal scoring came naturally to the Wath youngster from an early age.

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In 1923 Albert scored both goals in the first ever final of the Totty Cup, the competition for local junior schools that celebrates its centenary this year. It was a 2-0 win for Wath Victoria over their neighbours Park Road.

Albert Parkin scores against Amelvosche  in 1932.Albert Parkin scores against Amelvosche  in 1932.
Albert Parkin scores against Amelvosche in 1932.

In the same year he represented Yorkshire Schoolboys and was at it again, scoring the winning goal in a match against Durham at Castleford.

Albert joined Rotherham United in the summer of 1926. The following February the young centre-forward was handed his debut as a 17-year-old and scored in a 5-0 blitz of Ashington at Millmoor.

It was the start of a seven-year association with the club and it was towards the end of his time at Millmoor that he wrote himself into the history books.

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In 1931 he hit a hot streak, scoring 13 times in ten games, including netting in six matches on the spin.

Dutch players sign autograph book at the Town Hall.Dutch players sign autograph book at the Town Hall.
Dutch players sign autograph book at the Town Hall.

To this day Albert remains in a select club of Rotherham United players to achieve the feat, the others being Albert Orr in 1930, Ernest Smith in 1936, Jack Shaw in 1950 and Ronnie Moore in the 1981/82 season. Adam Le Fondre narrowly missed joining them during his goals-laden spell at the club in the early 2000s.

Out of all Albert Parkin’s time in the red and white of Rotherham, a couple of matches against foreign opposition are worthy of note.

In 1930 the Millers went to Denmark to play a team a team called Haderslev but details of the match are scant apart from a match programme.

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Seeing it, local football historian Chris Brook wrote to Haderslev to see if they could find any information.

A Henrik Lorentzen dug into their archive to investigate.

"We were inaugurating a new field and had a visit from the mighty English professionals,” he replied with a smile.“We "only" lost 2-4, which we were very pleased with. The match was witnessed by 2,700 spectators.”

In 1932 Albert was again involved with Rotherham took on a Dutch team called Amelvosche Club at Millmoor.

There is no mention of them on Google but Chris believes they are now called Hercules FC. Based in Almelo, the club has twice been champions of Holland and were in its first division until recently.

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During that one-off visit to these parts the Dutch players visited the Town Hall where they signed autograph books and were entertained by the Mayor, Alderman G.E. Caine. They weren’t just here for a jolly boys’ outing though. Come match time they gave Rotherham a hard game, twice coming from a goal down before the Millers shaded it 3-2.

And who should score the winning goal? Albert Parkin.

By the time he left Rotherham he had scored 45 times.

Albert was born to parents Alfred and Emma and in 1911 they were living at 22 Winifred Road, Wath. They had a daughter, Barbara, who married a Max Klingler and moved to Switzerland. Albert’s grandchildren Jeannine, Marcus and Nicholas still live there and are now aware of the Totty Cup – and Albert’s exploits in that first 1923 final.

A new book celebrating the centenary of the Totty Cup is out next month.