FOLLOWING the huge success of last year’s club trip to Wembley for the Challenge Cup final — and the number of very upbeat messages we got back from fans afterwards — we are again planning a similar trip in August this year.
The major difference this year is that Wembley 2019 will be a double-header — first the Coral Challenge Cup final, starting at 3pm, followed as soon as possible afterwards by the final of the new 1895 Cup, the new knock-out competition for clubs in the Betfred Championship and Betfred League 1.
We are at home to Whitehaven in the opening round of the 1895 Cup on Sunday, May 5 so it will, in fact, be our next game at the Vestacare Stadium after the huge game with league leaders Hunslet on Good Friday (3pm), which will almost certainly coincide with Danny Langtree’s first appearance since his return home this week.
‘Langers’ was back training with us on Thursday night and he was very disappointed that we were without a game this weekend.
As things have worked out though his “welcome home” appearance will be at the Vestacare Stadium and that couldn’t have been better for the club, the team, the fans and himself.
It will be a ‘must see’ game — Oldham v Hunslet at the Vestacare Stadium next Friday at 3pm.
Our next match after that is on Saturday, April 27 against West Wales Raiders in Llanelli, followed by the 1895 Cup tie against Whitehaven at home on Sunday, May 5 when we set out on the road to Wembley and by which time we should have Danny Bridge back in the frame too.
Everyone who went on our club trip to Wembley last year agreed it was a great day out which they thoroughly enjoyed.
In the programme for the next home game against Coventry Bears, Roger Halstead wrote:
“The 2018 Ladbrokes Challenge Cup final at Wembley will go down in history for French club Catalans Dragons famous victory over Warrington Wolves and the award of the Lance Todd Trophy as man of the match to Dragons’ full-back Tony Gigot, the first Frenchman to lift that iconic piece of silverware.
“For everyone associated with the Oldham club, though, it was the day Roughyeds went to Wembley with 45 supporters taking part in the pre-match parade of the stadium. led by lifelong fan John Illing, who had the honour of carrying the club’s flag.
” ‘When I was asked to do it I was a little bit embarrassed at first, but once I had got used to the idea I was as proud as punch,’ said John (51), whose brother Peter made it a great day for the Illings by winning a club raffle on the way down to London.
“Murgy gave us a song, with croaky backing from Roger H, and it was interesting to learn that roughly half of us fancied the French with the other half going for the Wolves.
“On the journey south and the return trip north we had a plentiful supply of tea, coffee and hot chocolate served up by Anne and Nigel and everyone agreed a good time was had by all.
“We’re looking forward to next year already,” was he message coming through loud and clear from the rear end of the buss.
“Anne and Co take note!”
Well, Anne and Co have taken note and we are planning to go again this year so make a note for your diary . . . Saturday, August 24, 2019.
We are currently awaiting details from the RFL and working on building in a programme for the day to accommodate both finals so more information will be forthcoming when we have it.
In the meantime watch this space — and get yourself in the mood for the big home game against the league leaders on Good Friday.