John Etty RIP

February 29th 2024

It is with the deepest sorrow and sympathy to the whole family that we report the death of our former winger John Etty, who has died in a Blackpool hospital at the age of 97.

Etty John 2 1

He was the last surviving member of what is generally known as Oldham’s ‘great side of the 50s’ the team that won the Lancashire Cup in 1956, 1957 and 1958 and were Rugby League champions in 1957 when they beat Hull 15-14 in the play-off final at Odsal Stadium, Bradford, on a day that will forever be etched in the annals of Oldham sport.

They’ve all gone now, but anyone old enough to remember May 18, 1957 will never forget that day and that match or Etty’s two tries in a memorable triumph.

1956x 1
Back: D. Vines, W.B. Ganley, S. Little, C. Winslade, D. Turner, K. Jackson,
J. Keith, F. Daley. Front: F. Pitchford, D. Ayres, J. Etty, A. Davies, R. Cracknell.

For the record, Oldham trailed 6-5 at half-time and then went 11-5 down, but the brilliant boot of Bernard Ganley and tries by Etty (his second) and centre Denis Ayres did the trick.

After originally playing at centre, John was switched to the wing, after a dozen or so matches, to great effect. His barnstorming runs down the flank made him a great favourite of the Watersheddings fans. The 1956-57 season was a personal triumph for John when he established the Oldham post-war try record with 43 touchdowns, which included two in the Championship Final against Hull and one in the Lancashire Cup Final triumph over St Helens.

The golden streak of form that John found that year was a major contribution to the Championship coming to Oldham.

John, a Yorkshireman, played for Batley, Oldham and Wakefield and won every domestic honour the game had to offer and was capped by Yorkshire county.

The sincere condolences of everyone at the club go to John‘s family and friends.