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Staff Focus — club video man Peter Gray

PETER Gray, who films our home games for the official match video, was a very late convert to rugby league, having followed football for most of his life.

He retired from teaching in 2013, and wondered what he could do with the extra time on his hands, so he took a diploma in professional photography and started to cover football games for local newspapers. writes JENNY McGRANE.

He enjoyed the work a lot, so much so that he chose to go that bit further and delve into sports video work.

Coincidentally, it was about the time Oldham RLFC was looking for someone to film their games, which is a requirement of the Rugby Football League.

That apart, all clubs use video recordings for coaching purposes and co-operate with each other in the supply and circulation of the said film.

Four years on Peter is still grateful to the club for giving him this fantastic opportunity.

His favourite part of the job is chatting to the loyal Oldham fans and players before a game and having ‘the best seat in the house’, namely his filming position up the scaffolding in his wooden ‘den.

He gets the best view of the game, although it does have its drawbacks when the weather turns nasty and its cold and freezing. Having said that, he thoroughly enjoy every aspect of the job.

Peter says the biggest character at the club has to be its’s oldest fan, Clarice Stevens. He ‘simply adores Clarice’ and admire her for the distance she travels to see every home game at Oldham.

She travels, often on public transport, from Timperley in Cheshire, and then back again, so how good is that when some people say they can’t even get from another part of town on Sundays on the bus?

Clarice has been a great inspiration to Peter in his time at the club.

So, too, has been club chairman Chris ‘Mr Fantastic’ Hamilton.

Said Peter:

“From the first Oldham game I filmed, Chris has always been kind to me in many ways. We often have a bit of banter, but he’s got a heart of gold even though we’ve had the occasional disagreement, usually because the coffee I make isn’t to his liking.

“His dry humour is second to none.”

If money was no object he’d like to see the recruitment of a player who could provide a cutting edge to the attack and a wealthy man who would spend a “few million quid” to improve our facilities and perhaps build us a new stadium.

And his companion on a desert island?

“I’d like to go on my own without any distractions.but if I had to take somebody I’d take the whole club so that we could celebrate promotion back to the Championship!

“We wouldn’t be disturbed and we could party on and have the time of our lives. Dream on!”

The first half of the season was mixed, he said,. He regularly watches every match video several times over while editing them and one thing that has struck him is a shortage of consistency.

He concluded:

“We have a great coaching staff as well as players who are striving to get us promotion and totally believe the club can achieve it.

“It is an extremely competitive league this year with several clubs vying for promotion.

“Having worked at Oldham for the last four.years I know that we will be up there in the end.

“There’s a lot of heart and passion in the club, but we need a consistent run of good form from now to the end of the season.

“Might I also express my deepest and grateful thanks to everyone at the club for their kindness and condolences over the recent sad loss of my partner. You were there for me in those sad times. A very big thank you to all.’



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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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