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Past Players dinner Sold Out

THE Past Players' Association annual dinner at St Herbert’s Parish Centre, Broadway on Friday, October 15 is sold out. Anyone wishing to be placed on a waiting list in the event of cry-offs is asked to speak to Joe Warburton or John Watkins.

Guest speaker Iestyn Harris, the former dual-code international stand-off, whose parents live in Shaw and who is an old boy of North Chadderton School, is vastly experienced in public speaking to say nothing of his many engagements on television and radio.

Compere and comedian John Gillan is one of the most in-demand entertainers on the circuit with more than 11 club-land accolades to his name.

Also included in the £30 ticket price is a three-course dinner with cheese and biscuits plus tea or coffee.

It promises to be a great night, at which Oldham RLFC (Roughyeds), Rugby Oldham (the Supporters' Trust), the Oldham RL Heritage Trust and the Oldham Amateur League will all be represented.

At the last meeting of the Past Players' Association, there was a discussion relative to its future partnership with Rugby Oldham, which will continue to be developed via projects such as the Hall of Fame, heritage numbers, the Heritage Trust and the possibility of a joint celebration dinner to be held next year.

In a recent issue of ‘Roughyed Review’, Oldham RLFC’s online match-day programme, Ian Wilson wrote an article headlined: “Time to present a united front as tough times lie ahead for clubs in League 1.”

Although he is secretary of Rugby Oldham, Ian insisted these were his personal thoughts, and nothing more.

He wrote:

“At recent home matches (Roughyeds) it has been good to see the Rugby Oldham banner draped over the front of the stand at Bower Fold.

“The message it depicts – about supporting rugby league at all levels in the town – is very much the Trust’s objective and puts the focus on everything Rugby Oldham attempts to do.

“One suspects the near future will be exceptionally challenging for rugby league everywhere at all levels and inevitably this will include Oldham.

“There are all sorts of stories circulating about the likely levels of central funding available for Championship and League 1 clubs in 2022 — maybe even zero in the latter case — as well as the structure of the whole competition from 2023 onwards.

“The amateur and youth games face major issues of their own. One wonders whether the huge challenges and changes they will present to a club and a town in Oldham’s situation might be best tackled via a concerted effort to bring all relevant parties together in some way so as to think more strategically about the long-term future health, or indeed survival, of the game.”

Other events coming up include the Saddleworth Rangers' 90th Anniversary Dinner on Friday, October 29 and the Oldham Ex-Players' social night on Friday, December 3 (tickets £10 from Joe or John or from behind the bar at Springhead Liberal Club.

The next monthly meeting of the Past Players Association is this Monday, October 4, at Springhead Liberal Club (7.45pm). Members are reminded that raffle prizes for the forthcoming dinner are needed and all donations will be much appreciated at Monday’s meeting.

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