We are saddened to report the passing of former Oldham winger Ian Holland, a goalkicking winger at Watersheddings between January, 1974 and August, 1975.
He scored seven tries and 22 goals in 28 appearances spread over the second half of the 1973-4 season and the first half of the following campaign.
Roughyeds had finished ninth in a one-division set-up in 1972-73, finishing higher than clubs like Hull KR, Widnes, Leigh, Wigan, Halifax, Bradford Northern, Huddersfield and Hull.
However, by the time the 73-74 season had started, coach Graham Starkey had joined Wigan and his senior commanders on the field, Cliff Hill and Frank Foster had also gone, along with county winger Norman Hodgkinson.
One game in, Bob Irving joined Starkey at Central Park in an £11,000 deal and Oldham were desperate to rebuild.
Griff Jenkins, a legend at the club as coach of the fabulous 1950s side, turned back the clock to return as Starkey’s successor and one of the first new signings was Great Britain prop Terry Clawson.
In the months that followed Oldham found it tough going in a new First Division and despite the recruitment of several new signings, including Ian Holland from Salford for a fee of £4,500, the club was relegated despite finishing fourth bottom out of 16.
They finished above Hull KR, Leigh and Whitehaven, but all four went down.
Ian Holland had earned county rugby union honours before signing for Salford in 1973.
He joined Roughyeds in January, 1974 and made his debut on January 6 that year against Hull KR at Watersheddings — the first of his 28 appearances in which he played outside several centres but always on the left wing and mainly outside centre Tony Wainwright.
He played for five clubs in total —- Salford, Oldham, Swinton, Barrow and Rochdale Hornets where he ended his playing days after a five-year stay in which he captained the side for a spell.
The sincere condolences of all at Oldham RLFC go out to Ian’s family and friends.
The funeral will be at St Helens Crematorium at 3pm on Friday, May 29.
We are told Ian’s death had no connection with Covid 19.