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RIP Stuart Iles, a fan for more than 60 years

THE sincere condolences of everyone at Oldham RLFC are extended to the family and close survivors of Stuart Iles, a keen Roughyeds supporter for more than 60 years, who has died after fighting cancer for more than ten years.

We don’t have many details to hand, but his daughter, Vivienne Brierley, circulated news of her father’s passing on Facebook, adding the rider that she had inherited her love of the club from her father and had herself been a supporter for more than 30 years.

She said her Dad was ‘Roughyeds through and through’ and added:

“He was present at some of the biggest and the smallest games Oldham have been involved in over those 60 years.

“He’s been fighting cancer for ten years and in the last 18 months his mobility has suffered.

“The last few weeks and months have been hard, but he followed the club all his life and after every game, even to the last one before he passed, he would always ask us: ‘How have Oldham gone on ?’ "

Chairman Chris Hamilton, coaching staff, backroom staff, players and fellow fans extend their deepest sympathy to Vivienne, other family members and friends and wish them to know they are very much in the thoughts and prayers of everyone at the club.

Similar expressions of sympathy and condolence go from all at Roughyeds to the Crown Oil Arena where Rochdale Hornets are mourning the passing of two players, Norman Short and Gerry Unsworth, with whom Oldham players have had many a contest on the field in years gone by.

Both players signed for Hornets from the Leigh area as young lads and played their entire professional careers at the old Athletic Grounds.

Gerry, a winger, scored 82 tries in 236 appearances in the 1950s and 60s. He was 86.

Norman, who had many a battle with our very own Alan Davies, a fellow Leigh lad, was an accomplished centre who scored 79 tries in 331 games over 13 seasons between 1952 and 1965.

A few years ago, Hornets fans voted him into the club’s best-ever 13. He died, aged 89.

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