James Miller


The story of James B Miller is one of the strangest connected with the history of Oldham RLFC.

Jim was signed from Morecambe in September 1908 and after a good showing in the “A” team was selected for his first team debut for the visit to the South Wales club Barry on October 31st. His chance arrived because international winger George Tyson was selected to play for Lancashire county on the same day. Never in the history of the professional game has a player made such a startling entry into the sport, for Jim woul d score no less than seven tries, as Oldham thrashed the Welshmen 54–0.

Maybe a clue to this remarkable occurrence comes with the fact that the Welsh team, obviously out of their depth, had to contend not only with a young winger eager to impress, but also the fact that playing centre for the day was the powerful future international forward, Bert Avery. This strange combination of the debutant winger and battle hardened forward produced a club record that still survives ninety years on.

The following week Tyson was back in his usual position and Miller, who was unlucky with injuries, would make just four more appearances for the club. These produced just two more tries, which coincidentally were scored in the return match when Barry visited Watersheddings on New Year’s Day 1909.

Career Games

Opposition Venue Date Competition
Barry v Oldham Away October 31, 1908 League Championship
Oldham v Hunslet Home December 12, 1908 League Championship
Oldham v Barry Home January 1, 1909 League Championship
Oldham v Leeds Home January 2, 1909 League Championship
Oldham v Rochdale Hornets Home January 23, 1909 League Championship