THE Rotherham Charity Cup Final is returning to the New York Stadium, thus continuing a relationship with Rotherham United that stretches back well over 100 years.
On Thursday (7pm) holders AFC 3 Feathers will take on Joker Wickersley Youth CC in the 126th final, the first one held in 1890.
Rotherham's old ground at Millmoor was the regular venue for the final right from the early years of the 1900s and the original club from which the current one eventually derived, Thornhill United, lifted the coveted trophy twice in the competition's first dozen years.
After the New York Stadium opened in August 2012, the club once again hosted the Charity Cup's finale in the ensuing years until the Covid-19 pandemic stopped all football in March 2020.
With the possibility of a play-off game for the Millers along with the UEFA Women's Euros later in the Summer, the chance of staging the final looked slim. But a date has been found, possibly the only agreeable one for the club as Rotherham's last scheduled home game is this Saturday.
Should they be in the play-offs then it's likely their home leg would be nearly a fortnight after the local final has been played.
Competition secretary Chris Eyre said: “Our competition is all about raising money for small, locally-based charities and organisations in and around Rotherham and by enabling us to use their ground for our final, it is a real boost and the town's football club is contributing towards that fund-raising.
“If ever the football club, for whatever reason, were to end the relationship, then it would be a massive blow to us and also to local players and clubs for whom it is a great honour to play at the stadium.”
Both finalists are poised to become champions of their respective leagues.
AFC 3 Feathers are top of the Rotherham Sunday League Premier Division while Joker Wickersley Youth look sure to win the Sheffield Blades Super Draw Sunday League and are also in the League Cup Final.