THE countdown has started for the big game on Good Friday when the Vestacare Stadium should be rocking for the visit of Betfred League 1 leaders Hunslet and the “welcome home” party for Oldham’s Danny Langtree.
Fans have already expressed their surprise and elation at the return of ‘Langers’, going on forums and social media to praise the club for fighting off fierce competition to bring the free-scoring second-row man back home on contract to November, 2020.
It’s a statement of intent by club chairman Chris Hamilton, who has been publicly praised by coach Scott Naylor for funding the return of the club’s prodigal son, a fans’ favourite for several years before his move to Super League side Hull FC at the end of last season.
Oldham’s players will each have a young fan as an escort as they leave the tunnel.
The lucky 17 are all members of the club’s new Roary’s Pride members club for young supporters.
From a current membership of more than 50, the 17 names required were pulled out of a hat by ORSA chairman John McAndrew, the Roughyeds’ Club Cash lottery administrator and a member of the nine-strong management team, headed by the chairman.
They are: Harley James Cook, James Ackroyd, Owen Gilder Jones, Thomas Claber, Abbie Dronsfield, Ollie Dronsfield, Travis Snape, Millie Cooper-Wilson, Evie Wood, Edward McGrane, Madelaine Kouacevic, Alfie Riley, Callum Brown, Arthur Collier, Dominic Williamson-Nuttall, Emel Erdemir, Jessica Lucy Davies.
If any are too young to do it on their own they can be accompanied by an adult.
The rest of the ‘Pride’ junior members will be flag bearers for both Oldham and Hunslet, making it a big day for club mascot Roary and his pride of young lion cubs. As with the escorts, children needing parental assistance can have it.
‘Pride’ youngsters, accompanied by parents or guardians, need to be at the ground no later than 2.30pm, escorts assembling at the tunnel and others going to the bottom of the ground ready for their duties with the two giant flags.
There is also a possibility that Roary and all members of his pride will do a lap of honour at half-time with their membership certificates which they will have received on arrival at the stadium.
“It will be a big day for Roary and his pride,”
said Julie Collins, another member of the management team who has been talking with sponsors Rugby Oldham about the possibility of some sort of joint membership scheme involving Pride members or their relevant adults.
To supervise the joining of Pride on behalf of your young ones speak to a club official, acquire a membership form from the Roughyeds office, or ring the leader, David ‘Murgy’ Murgatroyd on 07718660505.
The membership fee is £10 which includes Roary-branded merchandise including string-pull bag, baseball cap, water bottle, pencil etc plus a signed photograph of Roary, who will help to run the club with Murgy and 19-year-old Sophie Nixon.