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Joseph Platt added to RFL Roll of Honour

The Rugby Football League has announced the addition of Joseph Platt, the founding secretary of the Northern Union, to the game’s Roll of Honour, thus recognising the immense contribution he made to the sport’s early development, at the start of a week of celebrations leading to next Saturday’s 125th anniversary.

Platt played a key role in organising the meeting at Huddersfield’s George Hotel, on August 29, 1895, at which the Northern Rugby Football Union was born.

Originally from Royton, he had been appointed treasurer of the Oldham club in his early twenties, and continued as secretary of the Northern Union – an unpaid role, which he combined with working as managing director for Oldham’s three music-hall theatres –until stepping down as 1920.

During those first 25 years, the Northern Union was often fighting challenges to its existence, whether financial or during the Great War – but the foundations of the modern game were laid, including the reduction to 13 players per side, and the spread of the new code to Australia and New Zealand.

Platt is credited with a key quote explaining the motivation of the rugby rebels.

“We have concluded that it would be impossible to carry out the rules of the rugby union, and decided to form a new union more in touch with present-day football, and with a special view to meeting the requirements of the working man player.”

He was the last of the attendees of the foundation meeting to step down from the Northern Union council, in March 1921. He was also central to the creation of the British Playing Fields Association, which the Northern Union established to purchase pitches for local community teams.

The RFL’s Rugby League Roll of Honour recognises individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the game across both playing and off-field service. The sport continues to celebrate the exceptional commitment and achievements of leading broadcasters and journalists, players, coaches and volunteers.

Platt’s posthumous recognition is due to be marked by a special presentation at a 125th anniversary celebration in Huddersfield’s George Square being hosted by Kirklees Council next Saturday.

He will become the 41st name on the Roll of Honour.

Ray Unsworth
Mike Nicholas
Ron England
Jackie Reid MBE
Andrew Cudbertson

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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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