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Staff Focus — Phil Black

THE subject of our next staff focus is our head of security, Phil Black.

Phil has lived in Widnes all his life and supported the game in many ways, including being a youth coach, a development coach for the RFL and, for the last 23 years, a safety steward at the Halton Stadium in Widnes.

When the Oldham club moved to Whitebank in 2010, it had to employ a Ground Safety Officer and the RFL gave club chairman Chris Hamilton Phil’s contact number.

They had a good meeting and Phil was pleased to become Oldham’s Safety Officer, a role in which he took great pride.

His favourite part of the job is working with the management team and, most importantly, the fans.

He has always believed in trying to communicate with fans when issues arise, as they inevitably do. He wants fans to feel they can approach him and talk through things that concern them.”I cant always promise to agree, but i will always listen”, says Phil.

In his opinion the biggest character on the playing side is head coach Scott Naylor, who has a dry sense of humour.

But he thinks also that some of the club’s biggest characters are to be fund among the fans.

He told JENNY McGRANE:

“We have some wonderful characters among the supporters. They are some of the best in Rugby League. There are too many to mention individually,but I love it when I get the time to chat with them.’

Phil would love to see the arrival at Oldham of big, barnstorming prop forwards in the mould of ex New Zealand players Esene Faimalo and Emosi Koloto, who played for Widnes and established the platform for the halfbacks to control the game.

He would take Dave Hewitt to a desert island with him as

‘that man has a serious work ethic and always seems to be looking to give 100 per cent — an invaluable quality if I have to survive on a desert island’.

Thoughts on the season so far?

‘On the field its been a mixed season. We always play hard but hopefully the team will continue to perform well and win enough games to finish top of the table and earn automatic promotion.’

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Club Cash

AS you all know from your own experiences these are tough times for everybody, but we believe you will agree that OLDHAM RLFC is taking massive inspiration from the fabulous NHS and other key workers in tackling Covid head-on, while looking forward positively to the 2021 season and better times ahead thanks to the outstanding work now being done to get people vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Nevertheless, we have to face facts and be realistic enough to accept that the club urgently needs every pound that is currently coming in from whatever source. One of those sources is our Club Cash lottery and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who support us on this. A lot of you who used to pay our collectors on the doorstep have responded to our suggestions on how to pay by different methods and we are extremely grateful for that. Thanks again. You will never know how much difference your contributions make.

Alas, our income from the lottery has dropped by more than 50 per cent over the course of the pandemic and that would be a huge blow financially at any time let alone a time of unprecedented hardship because of the pandemic. It really is a situation we seriously need to address.

With that in mind the prize fund for the duration of the latest national lockdown will be temporarily reduced from February 10.

You will still be able to win a £1,000 first prize, plus £100, £50, £25 and ten £10 prizes every week, while continuing to provide vital support for the club and it will only cost you £1 a week. You can’t get a decent coffee for that, but the difference it makes to the club when multiplied a few times over and then multiplied again by 52 – the number of weeks in the financial year – is of major significance.

If you can help us at all — for £1 a week — it would be hugely appreciated by everyone with Oldham RL Club at heart. The prize structure still represents good value for money for an outlay of £1.

To those who are already members and help us accordingly, we very much hope to retain your support at this extremely difficult time.

Should you wish to play but don’t, due to the pausing of cash collection rounds, we have other options available, which you can discuss with our lottery administrator, John McAndrew on 07980129541 or from the club on 07904 898177.

Alternatively, you can send an email to: mcandrewj@aol.com or to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

The prize fund will be increased back to previous levels as soon as latest lockdowns are released. Please watch our website and social media platforms for further announcements.

Finally, if you want more information about the lottery or you wish to discuss your membership please contact one of the numbers given above.

A huge thank-you to you all.

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