Malcolm Price RIP
7th January 2024
It is with deep sorrow that we report the death of former Oldham centre Malcolm Price (Heritage Number 644) aged 86. An international at both Rugby League and Rugby Union, he was selected for the 1959 British Lions tour to Australia and New Zealand playing in five of the six test matches where he scored two tries in the second test against the Wallabies and two more in the first test against the “All Blacks”. He subsequently became a hot property pursued by many Rugby League clubs but it was Oldham who lured him north early in 1962.
A proud Welshman from Pontypool, Malcolm was a stylish centre with a good turn of pace. He made a try-scoring debut for the Roughyeds in a 13 – 7 victory at Liverpool on February 3rd 1962 and repeated the feat on his home debut the following week in a 32 – 16 victory over Hull in the Challenge Cup. However, after only four games he sustained a leg injury that ended his season and worse was to follow when he was seriously injured at Rochdale early in the following season on September 29th 1962. Malcolm suffered serious internal injuries to the pancreas that many thought would end his rugby career. He did not play again for well over twelve months but battled back to fitness to once again take the field for Oldham against Dewsbury on December 28th 1963.
All in all he played 23 games for Oldham in which he scored 14 tries. In 1966 he signed for Rochdale and by 1967 he was in the Great Britain team playing in two tests against the touring Australians.
In later life Malcolm kept himself incredibly fit and was a successful badminton player in the Rochdale district until well into his 60s. He was also very actively involved with the Rochdale Ex-Players association and took part in the 2017 theatrical production of “Rugby in the Blood” which looked at various aspects of rugby life in the Oldham and Rochdale area.
In 2019 Malcolm was inducted into the Welsh Rugby Union ‘Hall of Fame’ in a ceremony down at the SWALEC stadium in Cardiff. It was a very proud day for Malcolm and the Price family who turned out in force for the event.
A true gentleman who will be sadly missed in both codes of rugby, the condolences of the Heritage Trust and all of the Oldham RL community go out to all of Malcolm’s family and friends.