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Awards Night at the White Hart will take the form of a reunion

MIKE Ford will turn the season’s Awards Night at the White Hart, Lydgate on Friday, September 15 into a nostalgic, historic affair to provide a link with the past.

With the help of Mike Turner of the club’s Heritage Trust and Joe Warburton, secretary of the Players’ Association, he will organise a reunion of the side that, at Old Trafford in the last match of the 1989-1990 season, made a marvellous comeback from 6-29 to pip Hull KR 30-29 and win the Second Division Premiership Final, culminating in a young Tommy Martyn’s famous cartwheel in front of 40,000 fans after he went in for the winning try almost on the hooter.

Ford, who played at scrum-half on that never-to-be-forgotten day at Manchester’s Theatre of Dreams, said:

“It was a great match and a great win. I remember we had a Civic Reception back in Oldham that night and I reckon we deserved it after a season like that.

“We were in the Second Division, but we beat a lot of top First Division sides in the various cup competitions and we turned heads throughout the Rugby League on many, many occasions.

“I think it is very important that we remember the past, remember where we have come from and never forget where we were in the past and where we plan to get to again in the future. That’s why I jumped on Mike Turner’s wonderful suggestion to have a reunion and to link it with the club of today by having it at this season’s Awards Night.

“Law Cup wins apart, I think that win against Hull KR was the last time we won silverware. We will be celebrating that win, hopefully in the company of many of the fellows who made it happen, at the White Hart on September 15 as well as the 1989-90 season as a whole, anything we might achieve this year (Oldham are guaranteed a play-off spot), the club’s new ownership and the various awards, obviously.

“It will be a great night and we hope as many fans as possible will join us.

“A lot of memories will come flooding back and when we present the boys who played in that Old Trafford final it will be very emotional and nostalgic.”

The £35 ticket will include a three-course meal at the quality venue that is the White Hart; lots of presentations and celebrations; a raffle; an auction, and a Q and A with various celebrities.

For the record, the team on that magical day was Duncan Platt; Richard Irving, Gary Hyde, John Henderson, Paul Lord; Brett Clark, Mike Ford; Leo Casey, Andy Ruane, John Fieldhouse, Paul Round, Charlie McAlister, Richard Russell. Subs: Tommy Martyn, Keith Newton.

The backroom staff were as follows: Tony Barrow (head coach), Derek Whitehead, Billy Kindon, John Watkins (still heavily involved as treasurer and a leading light in the Players’ Assn) and Nick Hodgson.

In that wonderful year of 1989-90, Oldham played 43 games, won 36 and lost only seven – four in the league, the Lancashire Cup Final, Regal Trophy third round and the semi-final of the Challen ge Cup.

They beat St Helens away and Wigan at home before going down to Warrington in the Lancashire Cup Final but one of their biggest wins was the 16-4 win at Widnes, who were then World Club Champions, in he third round of the Challenge Cup at a packed Naughton Park.

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