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‘More than a fan; a person with a real passion for Oldham RLFC’

Joyce Pilkington had the welfare of Oldham Rugby in mind right to the end.

Following her funeral service at Oldham Crematorium on Tuesday, August 20, there was a retiring collection to be split between ORSA (Oldham Roughyeds’ Supporters Association) and the RSPCA.

And in a moving eulogy the Rev Gary Ridley, a Methodist Minister, said: “Joyce was more than a fan; she had a real passion for the club to which she devoted much of her life.”

She died, aged 82, in the Royal Oldham Hospital after serving as a match-day volunteer (selling Golden Gamble tickets and looking after stand transfers) until a few months before her death.

When the time came to hand over to somebody else, her daughter Lynn took over.

Joyce’s beloved red and white scarf, which she wore at every match and every Roughyeds occasion, was on the coffin and floral tributes were in the club colours, red and white.

Fans in club replica shirts were among those in attendance to pay their last respects to Joyce, whose love affair with Oldham Rugby spanned a lifetime and whose late husband, Donald, was chairman of the Supporters’ Club back in Watersheddings days.

Shane Tupaea was there to represent the playing staff from back then, while Trevor Heywood, an official of the old Supporters Club before, during and after Joyce’s late husband’s chairmanship was also present.

Also paying respects were Oldham RLFC chairman Chris Hamilton; the club’s media manager Roger Halstead; Sue and Mike Kivlin, representing the Rugby Oldham Supporters’ Trust; Lynda and John McAndrew representing ORSA, of which John is chairman; and a representative of the Lancashire Federation of Supporters’ Clubs.

The traditional rugby league hymn, “Abide With Me”, always a feature of Challenge Cup finals at Wembley, as it will be again this Saturday before the St Helens v Warrington Wolves final, was the music on both entrance to and departure from the Crematorium.



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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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