LOOSE-FORWARD Derek Turner, a star of Oldham’s magnificent footballing team of the mid-to-late 1950s, is to become the first Oldham player to be honoured in the British Rugby League Hall of Fame.
He died some years ago, but he will be added to the Hall of Fame next Wednesday, November 7, along with Johnny Whiteley MBE and Andy Gregory.
How appropriate that ‘Rocky’ Turner, as he was known, and Hull’s Johnny Whiteley are to be inducted at the same ceremony, given that they were rivals for the Great Britain No 13 shirt in a glorious, post-war period for rugby league, writes ROGER HALSTEAD.
The third prince of loose-forwards at that time, Vince Karalius of St Helens and Widnes, has been a Hall of Fame member for many years.
Oldham will be represented at the induction ceremony by former club chairman John Chadwick and the last surviving member of the Watersheddings team’s 1957 Championship-winning outfit, John Etty.
Now aged 91, winger Etty lives on the Fylde coast between Cleveleys and Fleetwood.
Said John (Chadwick):
“He and Derek Turner were fellow Yorkshiremen and great pals, so it’s very appropriate that John will be at the ceremony.
“Many years ago he (John) helped Derek to build his bungalow in Osset.
“And when Derek had left Oldham to join Wakefield Trinity it was ‘Rocky’ who persuaded the Trinity board to buy Etty from Oldham for the princely sum of £500.
“They were later to play at Wembley together for Trinity after John had scored in every round up to the final when he claimed — and still does to this day — that he never got a single pass in the famous stadium.”
John Etty will be a guest of honour at this Friday’s annual dinner of Oldham’s Past Players Association, to be held at St Herbert’s on Broadway.
On the following Friday, November 9, Oldham’s past and present will come together at the Vestacare Stadium when the Past Players’ Association will be represented by Bernard Halford and Ray Hicks at the modern-day Roughyeds’ 2018 season Awards Night.
Four of the five awards will be sponsored by the Past Players’ Association (players’ player of the year); ORSA (Supporters’ player of the year); Pam Taylor and LTS (Unsung Hero); Fit4Sport (Clubperson of the year).
The remaining award, the coach’s player of the year selected by Scott Naylor, is available for sponsorship.
The evening will be an opportunity for fans and players to mix and mingle and share a few yarns.
Tickets cost £12.50, including pie and mash supper with veggie option, and can be purchased on the roughyeds website or by ringing Anne Kearns, the organiser, on 07811 988 426.
She will also be the person to speak to about sponsorship of the remaining award.
Dress is smart casual but fans with replica shirts are encouraged to wear them on a night when the club will look back on 2018 and look forward to 2019.