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St Anne’s little ones looking forward to their big day at Bower Fold.

The little ones from Oldham St Anne’s will again have a dual role to play ahead of our big kick-off at Bower Fold on Sunday when we entertain Widnes Vikings in our first Betfred Championship game of the new season.

The under-6s and under-7s in green and gold will play a curtain-raiser and later act as flag bearers as momentum builds towards the big kick-off.

Some of the Saints’ youngsters are pictured here with their three coaches, Carl, Dave and Darren and an un-named helper.

They are looking forward to the season ahead in the knowledge that their boys have grown in confidence on the rugby field in the last 12 months and have a bright future ahead of them.

Furthermore, they thoroughly enjoy being involved in the Roughyeds’ game-day experience; throwing the ball around in a stadium like Bower Fold; and then watching their town’s professional club at a level only one tier down from Super League and including big-name traditional clubs like Bradford Bulls, Featherstone Rovers, Widnes Vikings and Leigh Centurions , all of whom have won the Challenge Cup at Wembley, and Oldham, of course.

Even six year olds know all about the magic of Wembley, but they might not know that Widnes, then known as the ‘Cup kings’, made seven trips to Wembley in a ten-year period in the 1970s and 1980s.

Like Oldham, they were among the original 22 clubs that formed the Northern Rugby Football Union in 1895, making the two clubs in action on Sunday two of the world’s first and oldest rugby league clubs.

Rugby League is 125 years old this year and both Oldham and Widnes were in there right from the start.

To this day, Widnes remain the last English club to beat a touring Australian national side.

And in 1989 they became the first World Club Champions when they beat Australian champions Canberra Raiders 30-18 at Old Trafford.

That’s your rugby league history lesson ahead of Sunday’s big day boys. Enjoy it . . . you’ll remember it for the rest of your lives!

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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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