SAD news has reached us from Australia of the death of former Oldham prop Alan Ogden, who was in his early seventies and had been suffering from Alzheimers for a few years.
Local lad Alan, a strong front-row forward with a good pair of hands and a good footballer, emigrated to Perth, Western Australia when his playing days were over.
After 63 games for his home-town club, he was transferred to Leigh for £5,000 in 1971, which was a lot of money back then.
We were informed of Alan’s passing by Brian ‘Joey’ Anglin, another local lad who played at Watersheddings and then also emigrated Down Under as so many members of the Oldham rugby league community have done over the last 50 years.
‘Joey’ Anglin is in touch on Facebook with Craig Halstead, who has written two books on Oldham RLFC in the past three years.
Two other messages of condolence come from David Walker, yet another local lad who played at Watersheddings, and from family member Brenda Murray of the Murray family that will forever be etched into the annals of the rugby league folk of Oldham, going back to the 1950s.
“I knew Alan since we were both kids. He lived at Strinesdale, me at Moorside. I played a few ‘A’ team games at Oldham, me as hooker, Alan as a great prop-forward.”
“After much suffering, RIP Allan. Sister-in-law Brenda, brother-in-law Dennis and the Murray family.”
Alan played football as a youngster, turning to rugby league in his late teens.
He signed for Oldham from the St Anne’s club and made his senior debut in the second-row against Castleford at home in a BBC Floodlit Trophy game on November 23, 1965.
Cas won 6-4 and Oldham lined up like this: Tomlinson; Sims, McCormack, Crowther, Simms; Warburton, Canning; Mumberson, Taylor, Wilson, Ogden, Burns, Parker. Subs: Elliott, Fletcher.
He faced tremendous competition from more experienced props like Ken Wilson, Charlie Bott, Alf Mumberson and. later, Danny Gardiner and Geoff Fletcher, but he was named as sub 11 times in the early part of the 1966-67 season before making his first start in a league game against Leigh at Watersheddings on December 17, 1966.
Oldham won 14-5 with this team: Murphy; Elliot, Holroyd, Collins, Dolly; Warburton, Canning; Wilson, Taylor, Ogden, Smethurst, Irving, Parker. Subs: Buckley, Hill.
One of his non-playing sub inclusions that same season was in the Lancashire Cup final against Wigan at Swinton. Wigan won a thriller 16-13 on October 29, 1966 with Roughyeds full-back Stan McLeod, a former Wigan player, stopped inches short of the Wigan line in the dying seconds.
Team: McLeod; Dolly, McCormack, Donovan, Simms; Warburton, Canning; Wilson, Taylor, Fletcher, Smethurst, Irving, Mooney. Subs: Holroyd, Ogden.
The sincere condolences of everyone at Oldham RLFC are sent across the world to the Ogden family.