Great Night at the Players Association annual dinner

Review by Roger Halstead.

Nearly 200 guests sat down to a delicious four-course dinner. The turn-out included scores of ex-Oldham players, representatives of several similar organisations at Bradford, Huddersfield and Rochdale Hornets, well-known names from the local amateur scene, the Oldham RLFC top brass, big names in the sport like Brian Noble, Mike Ford, Paul Round, Barrie McDermott and Robert Hicks and loads of people who watch rugby league regularly, be it standing on a touchline, on telly or at a stadium in posh seats.

The sport always makes a big thing of being inclusive and it was certainly that on this occasion, writes ROGER HALSTEAD. There were polished, professional performances from Noble, one of the most decorated people in the game, both as a player and coach; from MC Pete Emmett and from comedian Austin Knight, a natural ‘joker’ whose wit, timing of delivery and an uncanny ability to win-over his audience was one of the evening’s highlights.

Top-table guests included the inimitable Sean Long, and other leading lights of the parent club such as Bill Quinn, Mike Ford and John Chadwick who, as he usually does on these occasions, read out a list of members who had died during the year.

20231103 Barrie Mcdermott 1
Barrie McDermott receives his Heritage Certificate from Mike Ford.

Scattered around the body of the hall were reps from other organisations which work for rugby league in Oldham such as Rugby Oldham (the Supporters’ Trust); the Oldham RL Heritage Trust; the YEDS supporters’ group and the Oldham Amateur Rugby League, who were themselves busy at Melrose last weekend with the Pathway programme for local youngsters starting off last Saturday and the Amateur League’s Junior Cup Finals staged there on Sunday.

But back to St Herbert’s and that Players’ Assn dinner. It really was a top social occasion. Well done to all concerned !

The next function for the Players Association is a social evening to be held at Springhead Sports and Social Club on Friday December 8th 7.30pm with comedian Gary Marshall and music from Bing Findlater. The price is £10 which includes a potato pie supper.