Joe Warburton is the new secretary of the Oldham RL Ex-Players Association, who are looking for new members in a major recruitment drive.
Membership has been extended to include anyone who has ever been involved officially with Oldham RLFC . . . player, coach, physio, groundsman, sponge-man etc, according to a recruitment leaflet currently being circulated.
To contact Joe ring 07882848340 or email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The treasurer is John Watkins, tel: 07974612038.
Membership costs £10 a year and meetings are held monthly at Springhead Liberal Club in Oldham, usually on the first Monday of the month.
Joe is particularly keen at this time to hear from players who were involved in a Boxing Day Second Division derby at Rochdale in 1989. Hornets won 24-12 in front of a magnificent crowd of 8,150.
Hornets are inviting as many players as possible from that game — both teams — to the next Rochdale-Oldham derby which will be played for the Law Cup on Sunday, January 12 at 3pm.
Oldham lined up like this: Gary Hyde; Charlie McAlister, Des Foy, Richard Irving, Paul Lord; Brett Clark, Mike Ford; John Fairbank, Richard Russell, John Fieldhouse, Trevor Croston, Keith Newton, John Cogger. Subs, Kevin Meadows, Keith Atkinson.
McAlister, Foy, Clark, Cogger and Atkinson live overseas, but that still leaves ten players who might be able to represent their former club for one last time while also meeting up with former team mates.
Joe will be delighted to hear from any member of that team or from anyone else who has the credentials to join the Ex-Players, who have a full-house annual dinner which always attracts players from far and wide.
Guest speaker at the last dinner, on November 1, was Adrian Morley.
The Association was well represented at Gallery Oldham on Saturday when the Heritage Trust officially handed over their magnificent collection of memorabilia to Oldham Council for safe keeping and regular exhibiting, while also launching their new website, built, designed and programmed by Dave Naylor.
The Mayor of Oldham, Councillor Ginny Alexander, was present along with her Consort husband Adrian, who doubled up as both a Civic representative and a member of the Ex-Players Association.
Oldham RLFC chairman Chris Hamilton and local MP Debbie Abrahams were also in attendance as well as former club commercial manager Ray Hill, ex-club doctor, Dr Donald Walton and, among others from the Ex-Players, Martin Murphy, Mike Elliott, Brian Clark, Joe Warburton, John Watkins, Dave Kenway, Frank Hilton and Tony Finan.
“The Ex-Players did us proud,” said Mike Turner, the lifelong fan and local historian who has devoted most of his time in the last 20 years or so to writing books on Oldham RLFC, tracking and logging the club’s history and running the Oldham RLFC Heritage Trust.