Oldham RLFC

The Roughyeds


The Ray French Award

The immense contribution made by Ray French MBE to Rugby League, especially at Wembley, will be recognised at the first AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final between Sheffield Eagles and Widnes Vikings on Saturday August 24.

The player of the match will receive the Ray French Award, after a poll of Our League members in which the much-loved former dual code international and BBC commentator received more than 60% of the votes.

The 1895 Cup is a new competition that has been introduced in 2019 to provide an additional and more realistic opportunity for non-Super League clubs to reach Wembley on Challenge Cup Final day.

Unlike the Lance Todd Trophy, the long-established man of the match award for the Challenge Cup Final which is determined by votes from members of the Rugby League Writers and Broadcasters Association, the winner of the Ray French Award will be chosen by the supporters – through another Our League poll conducted during the match.

Ray was a Wembley winner with his hometown club St Helens against Wigan in 1966, and went on to commentate on 27 Challenge Cup Finals for the BBC, the majority at Wembley.

Fittingly, the Ray French Award will be presented for the first time at Wembley on Saturday week when both of his former clubs, St Helens and Widnes, will be in action.

Saints will be making their first Challenge Cup Final appearance since 2008 against Warrington, and that match will be followed by Widnes’s return to Wembley after a 26-year absence.

Ralph Rimmer, the chief executive of the Rugby Football League, said:

“Naming this award after Ray French provides us with the opportunity to recognise the outstanding contribution he has made to the game, at all levels.

“He is respected as a former player, and loved throughout Rugby League and well beyond for providing the commentary to so many great Wembley moments.

“That stature has been confirmed by the Our League members in this poll, and I’m sure the announcement of this award will be warmly welcomed by the Rugby League family.

“It will be a pleasure as always to welcome Ray at Wembley, and to see him presenting the player of the match in the first 1895 Cup Final – with an award named in his honour.”


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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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