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Law Cup

OLDHAM’S next game is the Law Cup clash at Rochdale on Sunday, January 21 — and to promote that game and at the same time to involve the fans in their preparations for the derby clash with silverware, Roughyeds legend and current managing director Mike Ford will take the trophy to the Fox and Pine at 7pm on Tuesday (January 2).

Delivering an open invitation to supporters to drop in at the Fox and Pine on Tuesday, as near to 7pm as possible, Fordy said he would love to mingle with supporters, talk about any subject they wished to talk about and generally get to know the people who, to him, will always come first, second and third in the club’s pecking order – the fans.

The players are officially on a break now until January 4, but Ford hopes to have a couple with him. Either way, there will be other club representatives there and there will be an opportunity for fans to have their picture taken with the Law Cup which has been re-polished and generally made to look spick and span in time for the big day at the Crown Oil Arena when new-look Oldham will go head-to-head with a Hornets side containing numerous members of last season’s Roughyeds’ squad, writes ROGER HALSTEAD.

Said Mike:

“The Law Cup game will always be regarded as a biggie while we are custodians of the club, but that applies especially this year, given the circumstances. It will be more than a privilege to show off the Law Cup to fans at the Fox and Pine on Tuesday evening. It will be a real pleasure. The Fox and Pine is almost becoming our club’s town-centre HQ and all power to its elbow for that.”

Added Michelle Riley of the Fox and Pine:

“We are proud to be sponsors of the club this year. It’s fabulous to have Oldham Rugby at the Fox and Pine so often and in so many different guises, These are exciting times for the club’s future and we are really looking forward to Tuesday night, to seeing lots of fans enjoying themselves with Mike Ford and others and to seeing the kids having their picture taken with the trophy,

“Hopefully, we will retain it on January 21, but for now its ours and I know Longy and the club regard the derby as a big match with silverware for the winners. It’s a great privilege to be part of that and to ALWAYS welcome the Roughyeds to the Fox and Pine.”

You go back to 1952 to find the record attendance for a Law Cup game – 11, 653 – but in the last 50 years the biggest crowd was 3. 097 at Spotland on January 1, 1998 – interestingly, the first game back for Oldham following the grim events of 1997.

I missed the game because I was away on other rugby league duties in Australia, but for the record Oldham had been admitted to the RFL as associate members the previous November with no Murdoch money for the first year and under the command of a four-man board chaired by Chris Hamilton and with Paddy Kirwan as coach with Mick Coates as his assistant.

Oldham had lots of fans there and it was the day grown men cried. Oldham won 36-16 against all odds, fielding this team: Mead; Eckersley, Wilde, Cooper, McNicholas; Barker, Flanagan; Guest, Hough, Maders, Quinlan, Prescott, Jackman; subs, Robinson, Round, Leuila, Diggle, I Sinfield

Quinlan kicked six goals for Oldham, whose tries were scored by Mead, Prescott, McNicholas (2), Maders and Sinfield.

Fast forward 26 years and there are several similarities – a new beginning, a fresh start. Will the crowd top 3,000 ? “That, I don’t know,” said former chairman John Chadwick. “What I do know is that the importance of the Law Cup can’t be over-estimated. It’s a highly-valued trophy in its own right; its part of the history of both club; and we’ve been scrapping for it for more than 100 years.”

The build-up will start at the Fox and Pine on Tuesday evening.

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