Ex-Oldham hooker Roger O'Mahoney dies

THE funeral of former Oldham hooker Roger O’Mahoney, who died recently in Spain, will be held at Rochdale Crematorium this Friday, October 12, starting at 9.50am.

One of the few rugby league players to come from Heywood, a soccer stronghold, he turned pro with Oldham from Rochdale amateurs Spotland Rangers and made his Roughyeds debut in season 1972-73 at a time when the renowned Kevin Taylor was in his prime.

In his first four seasons at Watersheddings, O’Mahoney learned his trade in a hugely-successful Oldham ‘A’ team which won silverware in a competition for reserve teams then known as the Lancashire Combination.

As the Taylor years drew to a close, O’Mahoney came into his own and enjoyed his best seasons in 1976-77, 1977-78 and 1978-79 when he became a senior-side regular.

He was an ever-present in 77-78, playing in all 33 games, and in 78-79 he figured in 28 out of 31 games, missing only three matches in two full seasons.

In his nine full seasons at Oldham he totalled 122 appearances, scoring nine tries.

By 1979-80 onwards, and following the arrival of Alan McCurrie from Wakefield Trinity, O’Mahoney’s senior appearances were on the slide and in September, 1982 he went to Warrington on loan at a time when the Wire were suffering an injury-crisis which particularly hit their No 9 position.

In those days players who wore no 9 were REAL hookers, not like those in the modern game with its uncontested scrums and ‘hookers’ who would be more appropriately named ‘dummy halves’ because of their specialist work behind the ruck, rather than in the scrimmage.

Such an impact did O’Mahoney make at Wilderspool while on loan that he was quickly signed permanently with Oldham receiving a transfer fee of £5,000.

And in his first full season with the Wire he won the Player of the Year award.

The condolences of everyone at Oldham RLFC go to the O’Mahoney family at this difficult time.



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