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Larder back in League limelight

WHEN Keighley Cougars come to the Vestacare Stadium on Sunday, June 16, they will be under the direction of a man who gave 12 years of his young life to Oldham RLFC back in Watersheddings days.

Phil Larder, now aged 74 and described by Cougars chairman Mick O’Neill as “the Sir Alex Ferguson of Rugby League” has been appointed as director of coaching at Cougar Park.

He replaces Craig Lingard and will work alongside Lingard’s former assistants Rhys Lovegrove and Paul Royston.

Oldham-born Larder, a centre of the old school who regarded his main purpose in life was to create openings for his winger (in his case Mike Elliott), still scored 111 tries himself in a 12-year Watersheddings career that stretched from 1968 to 1980.

He also kicked 475 goals for the club, amassing 1,283 points.

He topped the club’s seasonal try list three times and as a goalkicker of some repute as well he became the most prolific “threequarter” points scorer in the history of the Oldham club.
The first three names on the Oldham team sheet — Murphy, Elliott, Larder — became legendary across a decade of rugby league at Watersheddings.

Winger Mike Elliott, playing outside Larder, clocked up 153 tries — third in the club’s all-time list — and was top scorer in a season six times, a club record.

Larder, meanwhile, finished his playing career at Whitehaven and then went into coaching, serving Keighley, Widnes and Sheffield and rising to Great Britain coach.

In 1988 he wrote a book on Rugby League coaching before switching to Rugby Union and becoming England defence coach in the World Cup-winning squad of 2003.

As a former PE teacher at Saddleworth School, he was largely instrumental in introducing one of his former pupils, Mike Ford (player-coach at Oldham in the early days of the re-formed club) to the 15-a-side code.

Under Larder’s guidance, Keighley won the Second Division championship in 1994-5, when Cougarmania was at its height, but they were not included in the first Super League, as many believed they should have been.

Current club chairman O’Neill, who was at the club at that time, said of his decision to re-engage the veteran team boss:

“He was my No 1 choice. I know how he ticks. I can work with him.”

Larder is believed to have been a face in the crowd — incognito — when Roughyeds won 52-12 at Cougar Park, scoring nine tries in their fourth consecutive victory, in their last Betfred League 1 clash.

The return game is at the Vestacare Stadium on Sunday, June 16 — our next home league game.



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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.

Download Application Form

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