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.
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.
An interesting story has come in to the Heritage Trust mailbox from long time Roughyed supporter and season ticket holder Jack Butterworth.
“A few years ago I was working on a trade show at the NEC in Birmingham and met a man who I knew well but only saw from time to time. He is a Birmingham lad. The conversation went. You are from Oldham aren’t you? Yes Do you follow the rugby? Yes Do you remember a player called Sid Little? Yes I do. He is my father in law. Was he any good? I enlightened him on how good his father-in-law was.”
A powerful second-row forward with a good turn of speed, Sid played 249 matches for Oldham between 1952 and 1959.
Along with Charlie Winslade and Derek Turner he provided the Roughyeds with a fearsome ‘back three’ that was the envy of the league.
He played ten times for Great Britain and made eight appearances for Cumberland county.
Bill Quinn, chairman of the Roughyeds, has announced that the board has adjusted the club’s official title to Oldham RLFC 1876 Ltd.
He said in a chairman’s statement:
“Hi, everyone. It’s been a very exciting couple of weeks and more news now.
Chairman and the board as a whole are proud to announce the name change of our great club to
ORLFC 1876 Ltd.
“We felt it was only right to go back to the very start and to recognise everyone who has ever had anything to do with our club,
It is an insult not to celebrate our rich history and not to honour those who went before us. Many of them did great things and the club has a very impressive honours board.
So many people achieved big things for this club and it’s only right that we recognise it. We will be history ourselves one day and hopefully we will have added even more success to the history of our club.
This is also a thank you to our great supporters who have stood by the club for many, many years. In 2026 we will be celebrating 150 years . . . hopefully with success for everyone.
Many thanks, and remember our catchphrase, #StrongerTogether Your chairman, “Bill Quinn”.
When the Oldham club was formed in 1876 it was known as Oldham F.C. and was one of the 22 clubs who broke away from the RFU in 1895 to form the Northern Union.
The NU then changed its name to the Rugby Football League in 1922.
The club continued to be known as Oldham F.C. until the name was changed to Oldham Rugby League Football Club in 1970 before becoming 1997 Ltd.
The Oldham RL Heritage Trust were saddened to hear the news of the death of local broadcaster Dave McGealy at the age of 74.
The station manager and founder of Oldham Community Radio in 2007, Dave was a good friend to the Roughyeds and the OCR always provided much airtime for Oldham RLFC, not least of which was the witty and insightful match commentaries by Dave and co-presenter, Gerald Brierley.
However, it is not only the Rugby League Community that will mourn the loss of this totally likeable character. He was genuinely a “Man of Oldham” whose voice on the local airwaves was one of knowledge and reassurance. I have occasionally been interviewed on Oldham Community Radio and once had the pleasure of contributing to the ‘My Music’ hour and Dave was always on hand to make sure that everything went smoothly in the studio.
I am sure that the sincere condolences of everyone connected with Oldham RLFC and indeed the Borough of Oldham will be sent to all of Dave’s family and many friends. RIP.
There continues to be considerable interest in the Oldham RL Heritage Certificates with recent despatches to former ‘Roughyeds’, or their families, to players from the 1930s, Tommy Thompson (309), 1940s, Jack Casey (541) and the live-wire stand-off of the 1960s & 70s, Wilf Briggs (699).
Also, another recipient in Australia is former wingman Joe McNicholas (1053) who can be seen in our photograph with Glen Liddiard (910) whose receipt of his certificate was reported earlier. Joe and Glen are now both on the staff at Penrith Panthers Academy.
Thanks to Dave Walker of the Players Association for the photo of Glen and Joe.
The Club awards night and 1990 Old Trafford team reunion held at the ‘White Hart’ on September 15th has been hailed as a great success and prompted long time Oldham press reporter Roger Halstead to say:
“For me, it was the reunion of the 1989-90 boys which made it something special and I have to say what an absolute pleasure it was to spend time with my heroes of yesteryear…
A suggestion before I sign off — the reunion of the Old Trafford comeback kids was so successful, such a magnificent entrée to the main dish, that I would like to suggest we do something similar every year for the foreseeable future.”
The 2023 season awards presented on the night went as follows:
The Brian Walker award as coach’s player of the year – Martyn Ridyard.
The players’ player of the year – Matty Wilkinson.
The Iain Taylor family award as Unsung Hero – Sam Bardsley.
The winner will be announced at the Oldham RLFC Annual Awards event on Friday September 15th at the White Hart.
Fans have until Wednesday September 13th to register their vote and can do so on our fan polls page.
You can vote only once for your chosen player; duplicate votes from the same email address will be discounted.
Tickets for the event are priced at £35 per person and include a three-course meal.
Numerous awards on the night will be handed out such as the Brian Walker Player of the Year (chosen by the coaches), Unsung Hero (the Taylor Family Award) and Players Player of the Year to name a few.
As well as the awards, there will also be a re-union of the 1989/90 team which won the Second Division Premiership at Old Trafford 30-29, after being 29-6 down. Several players from the 1990 Old Trafford victory over Hull KR have now confirmed their attendance at the event and will take part in a Q & A session.
It will be a never-to-be-forgotten night at The White Hart, Lydgate on Friday, September 15, the ticket (£35) includes a three-course meal at this fashionable local venue, plus all the usual paraphernalia associated with a night like this.
It will recognise and celebrate anything the squad might have achieved by then, the season’s individual awards, the change of ownership at the club, plus the move to Boundary Park and the new and valued association with Oldham Athletic.
This special night’s highlight, though, will be a reunion of the team of 1990 that caused numerous shocks by turning over First Division clubs in various cup competitions that year, including Saints and Wigan in the Lancashire Cup and the crack Widnes team of all talents and World Club Champions to boot after beating Canberra Raiders at Old Trafford.
Oldham were in the Second Division at the time and we capped off a fantastic year by coming back from 29-6 down to beat Hull KR 30-29 in a fantastic Second Division Premiership Final at Old Trafford.
The team drove back to Oldham on top of an open-decked bus, cheered on by thousands of fans en route, and then went to the Civic Centre for a Civic Reception.
Several members of that team will be at The White Hart on the night and just to remind you of who played it was Duncan Platt; Richard Irving, Gary Hyde, John Henderson, Paul Lord; Brett Clark, Mike Ford; Leo Casey, Andy Ruane, John Fieldhouse, Paul Round, Charlie McAlister, Richard Russell. Subs: Tommy Martyn, Keith Newton.
Tony Barrow was head coach, Mike Ford was the captain and the backroom staff included Derek Whitehead, Billy Kindon, John Watkins, Nick Hodgson and Ossie Rowe.
Said Mike Ford: “It’s important that we remember our history; where we came from; who we are etc. Although the main focus of the night will be on the current side — and that’s right and proper — it will be nostalgic and even emotional to recall what happened at Old Trafford that day and then back in Oldham that night.”
The Oldham Rugby League Heritage Trust in combination with the Oldham Players Association can report that recently a number of Heritage Certificates have been sent over to Australia to some of the former favourites of the Roughyeds faithful.
Thanks to the assistance of Dave Walker from the Players Association the following players have received their certificates in the last few weeks:
David Liddiard (Number: 908 – debut 13.10.1985)
Glen Liddiard (Number: 910 – debut 15.12.1985)
Bruce ‘Bruiser’ Clark (Number: 911- debut 31.08.1986)
Stuart Raper (Number: 913 – debut 14.09.1986)
Brett Clark (no. 953 debut 27.09. 1989)
If anyone knows of a player or their family who might be interested to receive their Heritage Certificate please contact the Oldham Rugby League Heritage Trust at: email@example.com or, the Oldham Players Association at: firstname.lastname@example.org