Songs of Praise

Craig Halstead CRAIG Halstead (50), a lifelong Roughyeds fan, will represent Oldham RLFC on the pitch at Wembley before the 2016 Ladbrokes Challenge Cup final between Hull and Warrington Wolves on Saturday, August 27.

He will be in a fans’ choir, formed by a supporter from each of 32 clubs, which will sing the traditional Wembley hymn, ‘Abide With Me’ — another ‘first’ for rugby league thanks to the BBC ‘Songs of Praise’ team.

A special edition of ‘Songs of Praise’, following the choir’s journey, will be broadcast on BBC 1 the day after the cup final, which will feature a Warrington side that beat Oldham at Bower Fold in a sixth-round tie in May following the Roughyeds’ headline-grabbing 36-22 triumph at Hull KR in round five.

Said Craig, who travels from his home in Bangor, North Wales, to support the Roughyeds: “I watched my first Oldham game aged five, and I’ve been supporting them ever since. It will mean the world to me to sing my favourite hymn in my favourite stadium as a representative of my favourite club — second only perhaps to seeing an Oldham captain lift the Cup one day.

“I wouldn’t claim to be the best singer in the choir, but there’ll be a few like me with little singing experience. Aled Jones, who comes from Bangor like my wife Yvonne, will sort us out.”

In his book, ‘From Watersheddings to Whitebank‘, published by London League Publications last year, Craig wrote about Oldham’s many semi-final failures on the road to Wembley and what it would have meant to generations of local people to watch Roughyeds at Wembley and to sing ‘Abide With Me’ before the game.

* Half-price tickets for this year’s final are on sale from Oldham RLFC’s office at Whitebank — £35 tickets for £17.50 and £25 concessionary tickets for £12.50, these for 16s and under, 65s and over, members of the Military and students, both with valid ID.

The office is open from 9.30am to 1.30pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays; from 9.30am to 3pm on Wednesdays; and from 9.30am to 4pm on Fridays.

Club Cash Lottery

SINCE Covid-19 caused us to temporarily abandon door-to-door CLUB CASH lottery collections last Spring there's never been a better time to come on board and help Roughyeds to get through these hugely challenging times.

Why ? The £500-a-week rollover jackpot is back -- not only that there are now TWO £50 prizes and TWO £25 prizes in addition to the first prize of £1,000, a second prize of £100 and ten consolation prizes of £10.

But the return of the jackpot is the big lottery news. It's back this week and it's been won first time out, so next week's jackpot is again £500 but if nobody touches lucky it will go up to £1,000 the following week and increase by £500 a week, if not won, to a maximum of £10,000.

We have seriously missed the regular income from collections on the doorstep, but we cannot thank too much those supporters who have got behind the club in these unprecedented times of hardship by keeping their Club Cash memberships going or, indeed, by joining for the first time, knowing that for £1 a week they can help the club to combat Covid and prepare with confidence for the challenges of Betfred Championship rugby in 2021.

You can send a cheque to cover a set number of weeks; take out a bank standing order -- our preferred option; complete a bank transfer; or pay for several weeks up front by credit or debit card.

You can download a standing order form by clicking on the link at the end of this news release and following the instructions or you can contact our Club Cash administrator John McAndrew (tel: 07980 129541; email: or speak to the club direct on 07904 898177 or email to:

he easiest way, though, is to download a standing order form below. The latest prize updates are shown on the form as follows (all for £1): £1,000, £100, £50 (2), £25 (2), a number of £10 consolation prizes and the £500-a-week rollover jackpot.

Best of luck!

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