CHRISTOPHER Hamilton (pictured), chairman of Oldham RLFC, was present in Huddersfield today at the RFL’s special event to mark the sport’s 125th birthday and also to officially add Joseph Platt of Oldham, first secretary of what was then the pioneer Northern Union, to our sport’s prestigious Roll of Honour.
Strict COVID-19 social-distancing guidelines were observed at the event which was attended by civic and RFL dignitaries, headed by Ralph Rimmer, chief executive of the Rugby Football League.
In its early years, Joseph Platt, who is buried in Chadderton Cemetery, is believed to have administered the Northern Union, which became the Rugby League in 1922, from his business offices in Queen Street, Oldham. A blue plaque marks the building in Queen Street and describes the long-serving Oldham club official as “the father figure” of Rugby League.
Mr Hamilton said:
“To think it was today 125 years ago that those club representatives took the decision that led to the birth of the game we know and love today as Rugby League is quite remarkable.
“Where would we have been today if that group of men hadn’t made that historic decision?
“I am honoured and privileged to represent the town of Oldham and Oldham RLFC at this special occasion which recognises what Joseph Platt did for our sport in those early years. Without any shadow of doubt, he fully deserved his induction to the RFL’s Roll of Honour.”