A police vehicle, with blue lights flashing, led the cortege as it arrived at Oldham Crematorium for the funeral of former Oldham RLFC director Roger Norris or, to put it another way, Superintendent Norris of Greater Manchester Police.
Roger died in the Royal Oldham Hospital at the age of 80. A lifelong Oldham Rugby fan, as was his late son, John, who died five years ago at the age of 49, Roger and his ex-WPC wife Pat lived in Royton. Their only daughter, Amanda, lives in Saddleworth and was instrumental, with her Mum, in putting together the funeral arrangements.
The coffin was draped with a police flag and carried Roger’s much revered Superintendent’s police cap, representing the uniform he wore with pride, having joined the force at the age of 16 as a cadet in the Lancashire County Police, based in Rochdale.
A guard of honour, formed by policemen who had worked with Roger, lined up outside the Crematorium as the cortege passed into the full-house Crematorium. It was full of family members, neighbours, friends and scores of members of the Freemasons, Roger having been a Mason — another source of great pride — for many years.
He served on the board at Oldham RLFC and was the Watersheddings Ground Safety Officer in the early 1990s, having first watched and supported the Roughyeds In the famous Penny Rush end as a boy.
After the service, led by Chris Henthorn, hundreds accompanied the family to the Masonic Hall in Middleton where the wake was attended by Oldham RLFC fans, members of the East Lancashire branch of the Freemasons, retired policemen and politicians.
“It was just what Roger would have wanted,”
said Pat, herself an ex-WPC who met Roger at Bruche, the National Police Training Centre near Warrington, when they were both young and police probationers.