It is with sadness that the Heritage Trust learned the news of the death of former Oldham player Ricky Bibey at the age of 40.
Leigh born Ricky was a no nonsense prop forward who played for Oldham in the 2005 season making 21 appearances. He also played for Wigan, St Helens and Wakefield as well as having three spells with his home town club.
The sincere condolences of everyone at the Oldham Rugby League Heritage Trust are sent out to all of Ricky’s family and friends.
The Heritage Trust has been invited to host a zoom talk about the history of Oldham RLFC by the Oldham Historical Research Group.
Entitled “Then and Now”, the event will take place on Wednesday July 13th at 7pm and to gain access to this free on-line meeting please register in advance by clicking the link below to reserve your place.
The Oldham Rugby League Heritage Trust in combination with the Oldham Players Association are pleased to announce that the Heritage Numbers associated with those players who have featured in a first team match for Oldham are now going to be available as a “Heritage Number Certificate”.
Starting with the team who played in Oldham’s first match in the Northern Union, later to become the Rugby League, right up to this 2022 season, every player has been allocated a Heritage Number.
In that first match at Hunslet on September 14th 1895 when the teams were still 15-a-side, the honour of being number 1 has been granted to Arthur Lees.
Arthur went on to play 356 times for the club. This was the most appearances out of the team that day. Likewise number 15 goes to Duncan Lamonby who played a total of just two first team matches for the Roughyeds. From this match onwards the numbers are awarded as the players came into the team, so when Harry Eagland replaced Lamonby for the next match he became number 16.
With the number of players now well over 1400, it does not matter if they came on to the field for half a game, played on loan, as a trialist, or turned out in 300 or more competitive games, they are all considered equal in status and so qualify for their Heritage Number. The most recent, at the time of writing, being Robbie Butterworth (number 1466) who made his debut on June 5th 2022.
If you are interested in further details please contact the Oldham Rugby League Heritage Trust at: email@example.com
The Heritage Trust are sad to report the death of former Oldham player Terry Gorman.
A talented half-back, Leigh born, Terry joined Oldham in October 1972 from Swinton to take over as “A” team coach.
He wasn’t really signed to play in the first team but whenever the club was desperate for a stand-in scrum- half, Terry was drafted in to fill the gap.
This soon happened when Oldham played a Great Britain team in a friendly as part of the World Cup warm up programme on October 18th 1972. No one gave Oldham a chance against a GB side packed with stars such as Paul Charlton, Clive Sullivan, Chris Hesketh, John Atkinson, Mike Stephenson, Phil Lowe and John Holmes but on a dramatic night under the Watersheddings lights, Terry in the backs and Frank Foster in the pack conjured up an incredible victory for the Roughyeds. Terry was indeed the star of the show darting over for two second-half tries in an amazing 18 – 15 success for Oldham.
In all Terry played in ten first team matches for Oldham. He started his career at Huddersfield before having spells at Batley, Huyton and Swinton.
The sincere condolences of the Oldham Rugby League Heritage Trust are offered to all of Terry’s family and friends.
Reg Farrar set the Oldham tries in a season record in 1921-22 registering his 49th touchdown in the “Top-Four” play off win over Huddersfield at Watersheddings on April 22nd 1922. The Roughyeds won 13 – 5 with Reg scoring two tries and two goals.
Reg signed for Oldham from the Halifax Old Boys Rugby Union club, playing his first match against Huddersfield on October 23rd, 1920. He set the trend on his debut by scoring the only try in a 5 – 5 draw against the “Fartowners”. He was selected at centre that day and also for the next few games, but it would be on the wing that he would make his mark. His determined running was supplemented by an ability to leap over would-be tacklers. The following season Reg was installed on the left wing to great effect and his record breaking 49 touchdowns were complemented by 33 goals which meant he topped the Oldham tries and goals list. The club finished at the top of the league table but missed out on the Championship title when losing to Wigan in the Championship final two weeks after Reg had scored his brace against Huddersfield in the “Top-Four” play off.
The rest of his career was greatly disrupted by injury and the next two seasons saw him making only 13 senior appearances. When Jack Corsi was injured early in 1925, Reg was selected to take his place and returned to his old form, helping the club to win through to the Challenge Cup Final. Corsi returned to fitness just in time for the final and this left the committee with a selection dilemma. They chose to keep Farrar and Corsi on the wings and switch Sid Rix to centre, to the exclusion of the unfortunate Albert Woodward. The decision, however, proved to be well founded with Reg being the hero of the final, scoring one try, making two others and kicking two goals from the touchline in the 16 – 3 victory over Hull K.R. at Headingley.
More injuries followed and it looked like his career was over, but after almost two and half years out of the game he made a comeback in 1929, showing the same old style by scoring twelve tries in ten games at the end of the 1928-29 season.
Reg finally called it a day in 1930. Amazingly his career ended exactly as it had begun with him scoring the only Oldham try in a 5- 5 draw ! This time the match was against Leigh at Watersheddings on September 6th, 1930.
A totally emphatic victory by 42 points to nil saw Waterhead lift the BARLA National Cup on April 10th 2022 against Sharlston Rovers.
The match, which was played, more or less, in Sharlston’s back yard at Featherstone’s Millenium Stadium, Post Office Road, was totally dominated by “‘Head” who were accompanied by a wonderful group of enthusiastic supporters who followed them in great numbers over the pennines for the historic success.
Saddleworth Rangers will play Waterhead Warriors in what promises to be a classic Standard Cup Final at Oldham RU Club’s Manor Park ground at Bardsley on Good Friday, April 15, kick-off 11.45am.
Saddleworth Rangers are in division one of the National Conference, while Waterhead Warriors operate in division three. Having strengthened their squad this year with the recruitment from Roughyeds of Gareth Owen, Phil Joy and Danny Bridge, Waterhead old boys returning to where it all began, they are fancied to win promotion from division 3.
They have underlined their billing by winning through to the final of the BARLA National Cup.
As a curtain-raiser to the Final, the under-11s from both clubs will go head to head in the Johnny Blair Memorial game, kicking off at 10.30am.
Linda, the late Johnny’s wife, will present the boys with commemorative medals after the game.
Admission to both games will be £5 for adults and £3 for concessions and children. The Oldham Amateur League will give out free tickets to the under-11s at all member clubs which run youth and junior teams.
Said league secretary Phil Bradbury: “Former winners of the Ben Powell man-of-the-match trophy in the Final also get free tickets. “The Final is THE highlight of the local rugby league grassroots scene and, as such, is well supported. This year, with the attendances currently being generated by both the Warriors and the Rangers, we are hoping for, and expect to get, a cracking crowd.”