Oldham RLFC

The Roughyeds


Ben (37) joins volunteer managerial team

ROUGHYEDS have added to their volunteer managerial team with the appointment of Ben Whisker (37) as business development manager.

Ben pictured in his leisure time . . . time he is now giving to Roughyeds as his adopted club.
He works full time on recruitment in the IT industry, but as a rugby league fan, a former amateur player in York, a qualified level 1 coach and with a dog he’s called Ellery (after you know who), he’s steeped in our sport and delighted to give up much of his spare time to work for the Oldham club.

He will operate alongside Anne Kearns (admin and office manager), Julie Collins (marketing), John McAndrew (Club Cash lottery administrator) and the media team comprising of Roger Halstead, Dave Murgatroyd and Dave Naylor, all working under the wing of chairman, chief executive and club owner Chris Hamilton.

Ben will work closely with Julie with the specific role of leading the initiative to forge closer links with local community clubs, the community generally and with Oldham Athletic, his overall purpose being to develop the Roughyeds’ business.

His addition to the team was announced after an interview process in which he met for talks with Chris, Julie and Anne.

Born in Doncaster, he lived most of his life in York until moving to the Manchester area with his wife Jenny and four-year-old daughter Elizabeth last summer.

Both he and Jenny have family connections with the Oldham area.

Ben’s grandfather, Eric Skelton, grew up in Springhead; his great grandfather lived in Adlington Street, Oldham; and two uncles, Peter and Stephen, were programme sellers at Watersheddings in the late fifties, early sixties.

Jenny comes from Ireland, but her father’s company, Spencers, owned mills in Oldham, making denim, in the days when it was known as the town of a hundred chimneys.

“I’m a proud Yorkshireman,” said Ben, “but I’m sure the rugby league community of Oldham won’t hold that against me.

“I played for Heworth and for York Wasps Academy in my younger days, I’m a level 1 coach and I’ve done a lot of ‘coaching’, if that’s the right word, of three-to-five year olds so I’m no stranger to community clubs and their youth sections.

“I fell in love with the game watching the 1988 Challenge Cup final between Wigan and Halifax. Ellery Hanley was my boyhood hero.

“I had hoped to progress as a player, but I had to pack in because of illness and since then I’ve been a real fan.

“Living in York, and supporting that club, I’ve seen what can be done in the way of commercial activity, marketing and development etc and I see absolutely no reason why we can’t do something similar in a town like Oldham.

“Since coming to live and work in Manchester, I was looking for a club in this area to get involved with and I’m delighted and thrilled to join up with Oldham.”

Said Julie:

“Welcome aboard Ben ! Together, we’ve a lot of work to do as the team that operates off the field so 2019 is going to be a big year.

“We’re all volunteers, doing what we can in our spare time, but the beauty of that is that we are doing it as a labour of love because we love the club and we love rugby league.”


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Club Cash

AS you all know from your own experiences these are tough times for everybody, but we believe you will agree that OLDHAM RLFC is taking massive inspiration from the fabulous NHS and other key workers in tackling Covid head-on, while looking forward positively to the 2021 season and better times ahead thanks to the outstanding work now being done to get people vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Nevertheless, we have to face facts and be realistic enough to accept that the club urgently needs every pound that is currently coming in from whatever source. One of those sources is our Club Cash lottery and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who support us on this. A lot of you who used to pay our collectors on the doorstep have responded to our suggestions on how to pay by different methods and we are extremely grateful for that. Thanks again. You will never know how much difference your contributions make.

Alas, our income from the lottery has dropped by more than 50 per cent over the course of the pandemic and that would be a huge blow financially at any time let alone a time of unprecedented hardship because of the pandemic. It really is a situation we seriously need to address.

With that in mind the prize fund for the duration of the latest national lockdown will be temporarily reduced from February 10.

You will still be able to win a £1,000 first prize, plus £100, £50, £25 and ten £10 prizes every week, while continuing to provide vital support for the club and it will only cost you £1 a week. You can’t get a decent coffee for that, but the difference it makes to the club when multiplied a few times over and then multiplied again by 52 – the number of weeks in the financial year – is of major significance.

If you can help us at all — for £1 a week — it would be hugely appreciated by everyone with Oldham RL Club at heart. The prize structure still represents good value for money for an outlay of £1.

To those who are already members and help us accordingly, we very much hope to retain your support at this extremely difficult time.

Should you wish to play but don’t, due to the pausing of cash collection rounds, we have other options available, which you can discuss with our lottery administrator, John McAndrew on 07980129541 or from the club on 07904 898177.

Alternatively, you can send an email to: mcandrewj@aol.com or to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

The prize fund will be increased back to previous levels as soon as latest lockdowns are released. Please watch our website and social media platforms for further announcements.

Finally, if you want more information about the lottery or you wish to discuss your membership please contact one of the numbers given above.

A huge thank-you to you all.

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