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Now Thornton signs new deal

HUGELY-EXPERIENCED James Thornton, one of our best and most consistent forwards last season, has signed a new one-year contract to remain a Roughyed in 2023.

Thornton in action for Oldham in 2022
Thornton in action for Oldham in 2022

The versatile, 27-year-old front rower or back-row forward, played in 20 of our 22 cup-and-league games this year with seven starts and 13 appearances as a substitute.

Only Owen Restall, player-of-the-year Emmerson Whittel and Tom Spencer played more games than Thornton, who was praised and lauded by Roughyeds’ head coach Stu Littler for his attitude, commitment and work ethic at all times.

Said Stu:

“JT’s first season at the club was a very good one. He always had a good game, irrespective of whether he started or came off the bench or whether he played in the back-row or down the middle.

“When you’ve got injuries, suspensions and any manner of other problems to solve, versatility can be vital as well as meeting the trend of today’s modern rugby player.

“We are delighted he will be back with us in 2023. He would often leave the bench and change the dynamics of the game.

In the dressing room he’s a good talker and a great team man.

“When he has something to say in the dressing room he always puts the ‘we’ before the ‘me’. On top of all that, he always works hard.”

Thornton, who lives in Dewsbury, went on:

“I try to be consistent week in and week out. I train a lot on my own, often away from the club, because of work commitments. I’ve just taken a new job looking after children with special needs.

“It involves night and weekend work but I’ve made arrangements with my manager at work and with Chris to suit both parties and I’m sure it will work out well.

“I’m buzzing at the prospect of playing again at Oldham next year because it’s a friendly, family club at which we are all encouraged to involve our wives, partners, girlfriends, whichever the case may be, and children. That I feel is very, very important.

“One or two clubs were inquiring about me, but once I knew Oldham wanted to keep hold of me it was always full steam ahead Oldham. To stay here for another year suited me down to the ground.”

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