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Shearer supporting Thunder

​SOCCER legend Alan Shearer, now a top TV pundit and a Geordie sporting icon, has put his weight behind Newcastle Thunder’s bid to win promotion to the Betfred Championship at Oldham’s expense.

At the most there’ll be only two Geordies in the Thunder squad when they take on Roughyeds at the Vestacare Stadium tomorrow (Sunday) in a winner-takes-all promotion showdown, but Shearer is rooting for the club that’s adopted the Newcastle name and is building a future for rugby league in the North-East.

The former England centre-forward has gone public in wishing Thunder all the best at Oldham, saying:

“Good luck. You’re only 80 minutes from the Championship. All the best guys.”

Another Newcastle United old-timer, ex-goalkeeper Steve Harper, messaged:

“You’ve had two close games already with Oldham this season but hopefully you can come through.”

Lee Crooks has also pinned his colours to the Thunder mast, saying:

“Eighty minutes of hard work, self-believe and confidence stand between you and promotion. “Get the job done and continue the development of rugby league in the North-East.”

Thunder know they’ll have to be at their best, though, to topple an Oldham side that’s won ten of its last 11 games and hasn’t been beaten in a league match at home since last Easter.

Free-scoring Kieran Gill, Betfred League 1’s top try scorer, is Thunder’s left-edge superstar who was once a pin-up boy of the Roughyeds faithful while on loan here from Castleford Tigers.

He said:

“Oldham are a great club. I played two seasons there and they have a great culture.

“It’s going to be tough but if we can come oudt shining like we did against Doncaster w4 can out any team in this division to the sword.

“It’s a tough place to go and we know what they’re going to throw at us but we’ve trained hard this week and we’ll be ready.”

Oldham will be too as you can tell from these observations:

Cameron Leeming:

“As a group we’ve got a huge opportunity to make a bit of Oldham history. If 1 to 17 play at 100 per cent we’ll win ! They’ve got talented players but we’ve got a plan to close them down.”

Paul Crook:

“This will be my fourth final. They’re the games all players want to be in and we’re confident in our ability to win.”

Ritchie Hawkyard:

“The build-up so far has been low-key and that’s good. They’ve quality players, but so have we.”

Phil Joy:

“It’s going to be a close call. Newcastle are a well-drilled outfit, but we are quietly confident, having played superbly well over the last three months.”
Kyran Johnson: “If we play like we can we are confident of winning.”

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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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