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ORL Heritage Trust collection to be held at Gallery Oldham

ONE of the best and most extensive collections of club memorabilia in world rugby, either code, was officially handed over to the care of Oldham Council at a function in Gallery Oldham on Saturday.

It was attended by local dignitaries, including the Mayor of Oldham, Councillor Ginny Alexander, and her Consort husband Adrian, himself a former Oldham player, as well as local MP Debbie Abrahams, the long-serving chairman of Oldham RLFC, Chris Hamilton, members of the Former Players’ Association and fans.

Pictured above: Councillor Ginny Alexander, the Mayor of Oldham, and her Consort husband Adrian, himself a former Oldham RL player, were guests of honour at Gallery Oldham at a major function organised by Oldham RL Heritage Trust.

Among others in the line-up are Oldham RLFC chairman Chris Hamilton (second left), Martin Murphy, the club’s post-war record holder for most games played (third left)and Mike Turner of the Oldham RL Heritage Trust (tenth left in shirtsleeves).

Picture: David Murgatroyd

<p>
  The magnificent collection of Oldham Rugby shirts, players&#8217; medals and representative caps, trophies, programmes, pictures, newspaper cuttings and other assorted items of memorabilia will be saved. catalogued and periodically exhibited in a professionally organised museum environment.
</p>

<p>
  Since receiving a grant from the national Lottery Fund a year ago to undertake this massive &#8216;Pass It On&#8217; project, Oldham RL Heritage officials and volunteers have been systematically handing over material to the Gallery Oldham professionals.
</p>

<p>
  Saturday&#8217;s launch of the new exhibition coincided with the launch of the <a href="https://orl-heritagetrust.org.uk">ORL Heritage Trust&#8217;s new website</a> which has been built and designed by lifelong fan Dave Naylor, a member of the Roughyeds&#8217; media team.
</p>

<p>
  The Mayor told the gathering of officials, former players and fans:
</p>

<blockquote>
  <p>
    &#8220;It&#8217;s a privilege and an honour to be part of this historical day for the Oldham club. I was introduced to rugby by my husband (former Harlequins RU and Oldham RL forward Adrian Alexander) and now it&#8217;s in my blood as well as his.
  </p>
  
  <p>
    &#8220;We&#8217;ll be present at Oldham&#8217;s games next season whenever we can.&#8221;
  </p>
</blockquote>

<p>
  Lifelong Oldham fan Mike Turner, author, an authority on the club&#8217;s history and the driving force behind Oldham RL Heritage Trust, said: &#8220;It was great to see so many people at the launch.
</p>

<p>
  &#8220;The history of Oldham RLFC is an essential part of the town&#8217;s history and this &#8216;Pass It On&#8217; project will assure our collection of long-term preservation in a professionally maintained museum environment for the benefit of future generations.&#8221;
</p>

<p>
  Among the many former players present at the launch were Martin Murphy and Mike Elliott, the club&#8217;s post-war record holders for most games played.
</p>

<p>
  Full-back Murphy played in 462 games between 1966 and 1982 while Welsh winger Elliott, who hailed from the South Wales pit village of Blaina, made 446 appearances between 1962 and 1979.
</p>

<p>
  Only two players featured in more games in the club&#8217;s 143-year history &#8212;- Joe Ferguson (627 between 1899 and 1923) and Jack Read (463 between 1926 and 1940).
</p>

<p>
  Others with 400-plus games were Fred Ashworth (436) and Tommy Rees (417) pre-war and Harry Ogden (429) and Kevin Taylor (429), post-war.
</p>

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SINCE Covid-19 caused us to temporarily abandon door-to-door CLUB CASH lottery collections last Spring there’s never been a better time to come on board and help Roughyeds to get through these hugely challenging times.

Why? The £500-a-week rollover jackpot is back — not only that there are now TWO £50 prizes and TWO £25 prizes in addition to the first prize of £1,000, a second prize of £100 and ten consolation prizes of £10.

But the return of the jackpot is the big lottery news. It’s back this week and it’s been won first time out, so next week’s jackpot is again £500 but if nobody touches lucky it will go up to £1,000 the following week and increase by £500 a week, if not won, to a maximum of £10,000.

We have seriously missed the regular income from collections on the doorstep, but we cannot thank too much those supporters who have got behind the club in these unprecedented times of hardship by keeping their Club Cash memberships going or, indeed, by joining for the first time, knowing that for £1 a week they can help the club to combat Covid and prepare with confidence for the challenges of Betfred Championship rugby in 2021.

You can send a cheque to cover a set number of weeks; take out a bank standing order — our preferred option; complete a bank transfer; or pay for several weeks up front by credit or debit card.

You can download a standing order form by clicking on the link at the end of this news release and following the instructions or you can contact our Club Cash administrator John McAndrew (tel: 07980 129541; email: mcandrewj@aol.com) or speak to the club direct on 07904 898177 or email to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

The easiest way, though, is to download a standing order form below. The latest prize updates are shown on the form as follows (all for £1): £1,000, £100, £50 (2), £25 (2), a number of £10 consolation prizes and the £500-a-week rollover jackpot.

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