OLDHAM RLFC can confirm that Josh Crowley has been transferred to Rochdale Hornets for an undisclosed transfer fee.
Crowley, who was under contract to the end of next season, told Oldham in February that he was to retire with immediate affect.
Said Oldham chairman Chris Hamilton: “It was a huge shock. We wantd to tell suppporters, but we received professional and legal advice to say nothing in order to protect the club’s interests.
“Unfortunately, despite our attempts to address the situation positively, we were unable to do so.
“Josh was one of only two players at the club who was on a contract for more than one year and on two separate occasions he was named by coach Scott Naylor as his joint player of the year.
“He had played in 81 consecutive games and he had not missed a single game in more than three seasons since he joined Oldham in 2013.
“That was a measure of the esteem in which he was held.
“It eventually became clear that he was never going to return and we were ultimately contacted about his availability by Rochdale Hornets, who were given permission to speak to him.
“His transfer to Rochdale has now been completed, for which we will receive an undisclosed transfer fee.
“We wish Josh good luck in regaining his appetite for the game.”
Coach Scott Naylor added: “When Josh said he didn’t want to play the game any more, it was a massive shock to me, as his coach, but when a player is adamant about something like that there is nothing anyone else can do about it.
“I am disappointed he has decided to play again elsewhere because he should be playing for Oldham, but that’s his decision and I wish him all the best foe the future. No doubt we’ll bump into each other one day and we’ll have a chat.”