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Big turn-out at Jim’s “no fuss” funeral

​Down-to-earth Jim Hallas lived his life meaning what he said and calling it as he saw it.

​​Nobody knew that better than his only daughter Gwendolen.

​And when Jim (89), trombone player, former sponsored marathon runner, local Karaoke legend, ex-commercial artist and lifelong Oldham Rugby League fanatic, who lost his wife some years ago, told Gwendolen he wanted “no fuss” at his funeral she knew what he meant and she was determined to see it through.

The hundred or so family friends, fellow Roughyeds fans and musicians from the local brass band community, who waited at Oldham Crematorium for the hearse were shocked when Gwendolen arrived driving her 12-year-old Volvo V50 with her dad’s cardboard coffin in the back.

With a smile on her face and wearing multi-coloured shoes and a red outfit, the club colours, Gwendolen said:

“Anyone who knew my dad would know that this was exactly what he wanted.

“He always told me: ‘Put me in a cardboard box and drive me to the Crem — and he meant it. He always meant what he said. And I think he would be proud of me for doing it. He didn’t want anyone wearing black. He wanted a celebration and he wanted people to really celebrate his life.

“He was a gentleman with a heart of gold, but what you saw was what you got. And what he said he meant !”.

It was standing-room only inside the Crematorium where Jim’s beloved Oldham Rugby League Club was represented by fans in club colours and by club chairman Chris Hamilton and club captain Gareth Owen.

There were red roses on the coffin; an autographed rugby ball which Jim won some years ago; and a floral tribute in the shape of a rugby ball and in red and white.

And a local band in which Jim played the trombone until a few months ago, Dobcross Brass Monkeys, was there to play their former member’s favourite piece, William Rimmer’s quick march ‘Slaidburn’.

Added Gwendolen:

“We also had a rendering of Frank Sinatra’s ‘The Best of Everything’. I chose that. I knew it would be dad’s last wish to everybody who was there. He was that sort of man; full of life to the day he died and a man who would want the best of everything for everybody.”

I’m having the time of my life!

(A Grant Sommerville poem, written about Jim Hallas, pictured in 2015 at Oxford.)

I’ve teamed up with the ‘Wild Bunch’ and life’s going with a swing,
We go to all the Roughyed’s games and shout and bawl and sing.

I’m having my second childhood and life’s looking really bright,
And all the boys look after me and make sure I don’t get tight!

So all in all my life’s very sweet and every day I feel I’m a winner,
Especially when I’m scoffing, my daughter’s Sunday roast beef dinner.



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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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