Oldham RLFC

The Roughyeds


How to win back the ‘missing generation’

OF the many suggestions made by fans for ways of carrying the club forward into 2019 and beyond, the biggest debate centred on how best to increase attendances and to win back the support of the ‘missing generation’.

Concern was also expressed from the floor at the recent public meeting that falling attendances carried another worrying feature — the average age of regular Roughyeds supporters which was probably between 55 and 60.

It was generally agreed that dips in gate numbers were not peculiar to Oldham, although there was a lot Roughyeds could do themselves to halt the slide initially and to gradually turn it round.

There was overwhelming support for the suggestion that, first and foremost, strenuous efforts must be made to attract younger supporters.

Opinion was divided as to whether under-16s should be allowed to watch home games free of charge or whether they had to be accompanied by an adult.

There was widespread approval, however, for the proposal that the club already possessed an obvious and tailor-made personality to spearhead the recruitment drive for children — club mascot Roary.

The floor strongly backed the suggestion that popular and loveable Roary should be ‘used’ far more widely in promoting the club and that he should be key to the formation of a junior supporters club to be known as ‘Roary’s Pride’.

One fan said:

“We used to have loads of kids around the place, but we don’t any more. They’re the missing generation. We need to win them back.”

Greater engagement with schools and community clubs was also called for with Roary to the fore and back-up provided by Roughyeds players, especially Oldham-based players who were themselves the product of local community clubs.

Roger Halstead said it was a myth that clubs like St Anne’s, Saddleworth and Waterhead wanted to distance themselves from the town’s semi-pro club, but the lead for closer associations had to come from Roughyeds.

Other suggestions for raising the club’s profile and increasing its income ranged from having more social events and the odd sportsmen’s dinner; to forming closer links with Avro FC supporters; to requesting coach and players to spend a short time with fans in the social club after matches.

Fans who went on the club’s trip to Wembley last August for the Challenge Cup final said it was a fabulous trip.

One of them suggested it would be worthwhile to see if supporters would wish to travel to away games together by coach, thus making money for the club and enjoying the company and camaraderie or fellow fans.

From the club’s point of view fans were urged to buy season tickets, join the Club Cash lottery, encourage a friend to attend matches, join a new membership scheme, join in the club’s social media activity and talk-up Roughyeds to friends, neighbours, relatives and work mates.

Julie said that from her perspective as a marketing professional, it was imperative that the club branded itself correctly, settled on a logo and stuck to it.
There followed a long discussion on use of the town’s crest which fans clearly didn’t want to lose.

One fan though suggested there could be two club logos, a traditional one incorporating the crest and another one of a more modern design.


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AS lockdown restrictions start to ease, now is the time for everyone connected with Oldham RLFC to do all they can to help with getting income from our Club Cash lottery back to where it was before the pandemic started to bite.

This is vital for the club and its finances which, as you all know, have taken a massive hit in the past 12 months.

Collectors will be returning to door-to-door visits in the next few weeks and we hope people who suspended payments will pick up where they left off as we strive and work hard to get back to where we were before the pandemic caused us to lose 50 per cent of our lottery income.

Many of our regular punters, who would normally pay a collector, have answered our calls for help by finding other ways to pay and to retain their chances of winning prizes.

To those people we are very grateful and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them once again for their loyal and continued support.

The lottery, of course, is potentially one of our biggest fund-raisers and for as little as £1 a week — more if you wish — you can help the club immensely and at the same time have chances to win £1,000, £100, £50, £25 or one of ten consolation prizes of £10.

That’s the present prize structure. There’s every chance it will be increased once we are out of lockdown, door-to-door collections start again and we get back to some sort of normality.

In the meantime you can join, or start up again, by contacting the club on 07904 898177 or by email to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

For more information about the lottery, and for the “great opportunities” provided by our partnership with the National Youth and Community Development Association (NYCDA) go our Club Cash page.

There, you will find all the results and a detailed statement about getting back to normal with the help of our not-for-profit partners.

All proceeds from the partnership will continue to support the club and help us to meet the aims of our Club Cash activities, particularly in its aims and objectives to be an active stakeholder in the local community.

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