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    Forever upstairs above the Penny Rush
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    Oldham RLFC. Proud to say that I watched Ganley and the great team of the '50s.

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  1. They do say that "Time heals all" but, no matter how many years pass, the heartache never gets any less. What happened to our great club was unforgivable and, like you Jim, I shall NEVER forget.
  2. R.L. You're probably correct about it being one of the most memorable tackles by an Oldham player. It was one of those 'I was there' moments and one I'll never forget. The Hunslet (left ?) winger broke through and if Colin Smith hadn't grabbed hold and held on to the winger's shirt in a 'last ditch' effort as he fell, the winger would have run behind the sticks and we would have lost that game. Thus we would never have had the pleasure of seeing the two great games against Bradford Northern. And, if I remember correctly, in Oldham Chron's Saturday 'Green Final' there wasn't a photograph available of that fantastic tackle. Instead somebody had to do a (somewhat badly) hand-drawn 'sketch' of Colin, with a tall silth-like figure, hanging on to that shirt. But who cared about the quality of the drawing. In the absence of a photo, the sketch portrayed the tackle admirably ! Good times !
  3. R.L. If I remember correctly, I think that France actually won that game ? ? With the score being France 8 pts and GB 4 pts. I was really sad that particular day (it's yet another on my long list of ORLFC 'sad' days) because our very own, Charlie Bott was on the losing side on his one and only appearance for GB. The following March (1967) France again beat GB (23 - 13) at Central Park and, if I remember correctly, in that game the GB (Number eight) prop Dennis Hartley was knocked-out, instantly, stone cold, just in front of us by a French player and as Dennis collapsed to the ground, unconscious, his own full weight going downwards actually broke his leg beneath him. Could hear the 'crack' around the ground. It was horrendous. That's what I 'think' I remember. But it's now a long while ago. Please correct me if I've got that fact wrong.
  4. ArthurO

    Stay alert

    I think he reminds me of someone who's second name is 'Holdsworth'
  5. ArthurO

    Yed Memories

    RL. From that photo of the team in 1963, a few personal memories of mine about some of those players: Geoff Robinson: was a 'big' bloke, yet he used to live in one of the three, really, tiny white cottages near Hey Church on Stamford Road, Lees. Occasionally he would walk up to Watersheddings with the crowds of men, including me and my dad, who also walked along Stamford Road from Lees and Springhead on match days. Dennis Wright: A 'Gentleman'. Vince Nestor: I had the pleasure of sitting next to and talking to him about the 1950s team on the very sad occasion that we both attended the funeral of the late, great, Bernard Ganley. Trevor Simms: Always wore a scrum cap. Very distinctive and also rare for a player to wear one in those days. Or since ? Peter Smerthust (sic): Always, always, wore his shirt sleeves rolled up tight under his armpits. Even in ten degrees below freezing and blowing an arctic blizzard. A typical match day climate up at 'sheddings. Len McIntyre: Hooker. Kicked that last minute ( two point) drop goal to draw 5 - 5 with Hull K R in the first semi-final on 11th April 1964. That was the one, and ONLY, goal he ever kicked.
  6. RL. 1968. 'Owdham F't Cup'. I got my hands on about two hundred of those (paper ?) 'stickers' as soon as they were printed. Talk about 'Fever Pitch' ? ? ? I stuck them everywhere I could. We lived on Heywood Avenue in Austerlands in 1968. I literally covered our lounge and upstairs windows. I put them on front gates, in gardens, on my dad's old car, every house on the Avenue had at least one 'sticker' in their widows. I stuck them on the windows of the buses, local bus shelters and shops. I threaded them with string and hung them on trees and fences at the side of the roads. Indeed anywhere and everywhere they could be seen. The district was 'Red and White'. Two weeks later, with a tear in my eye, I had to go around and remove all the ones that I could find. Naively, I also kept just one 'brand new' sticker in the forlorn hope that we might need it 'next year'. Guess what ? I never did need it. Sadly, now both the sticker and our hopes of ever lifting the cup at Wembley are long gone !
  7. R.L. I'm really sad to hear of Brian Curry's death. Whilst he was a 'Roughyed' he was a good, solid and reliable goal-kicking full-back and certainly a bit faster and more 'mobile' around the pitch than some of his erstwhile predecessors in that position. He kicked 53 goals for us and I'm sure that I was there to witness most of them in those days, both home and away. BUT, of all the goals that he ever kicked for us, the ones that I will never forget occurred on the night of February 29th 1968 in the Challenge Cup 2nd Round Replay against Bradford Northern. He kicked three goals that night. Two of which were off the touchline. They were literally 'world class'. And what a night that was in a jam-packed Watersheddings ! 1968. 'Up fer't Cup'. We were 'On our way to Wembley'. Finally it was 'Our' year. Sadly Leeds didn't read the script. Brian Curry R.I.P. Gone but Never Forgotten.
  8. Ha, yes. 'Tug' Wilson. He was a gentle giant. A big, yet quiet, and unassuming bloke. A good, solid, No. 8. Always reliable and dependable on the field. He used to live in a bungalow on Springhead Avenue in Springhead behind the Liberal Club and what used to be Kershaw's garage. When the Roughyeds were playing (at home) I used to walk along to his house (that's when I were a young lad) and he used to take me up to the 'sheddings with him, in his car. It was a pale green Hillman Imp ! He was so big, he had to 'hunch himself over' in order just to see through the top of the windscreen. It never ceased to amaze me how he managed squeeze himself inside such a tiny, little, car. When he got out he used to open the door and kind of 'push and pull' his huge body out. He was a always smiling and a pleasure to talk to but he never 'blew his own trumpet' (so to speak). Consequently I never knew of, or appreciated, the sporting 'history' that he had before he joined us. Happy days. Great memories.
  9. Errr ! I thing 'he' had more skill than ''she' had ! ? That said, John Cogger was always great fun to watch. Although he had No. 13 on his back, he wasn't the most 'technical' loose forward I've ever seen. He seemed to have a 'roving commission'. He was all over the pitch and spent as much time in the 'backs' as he did in the 'forwards'. He was fast, quick off the mark and always instantly recognisable with his long blond hair flowing behind him. None of his team mates seemed to know what he was going to do when he got the ball in his hands i.e. pass, run or even kick it. He wasn't the biggest player on the field but he was always more than happy to 'exchange pleasantries' with any of the opposition and he never took a step backwards. He scored 31 tries in 62 games. Not a bad record. I'd say he was a good signing for us.
  10. In the early 1950s my dad used to carry me on his shoulders from Ashes Lane in Springhead and I used to sit with many other little boys on the lower (wooden) steps of the Hutchins Stand. He could then keep an eye on me during the 'A' team and 'First' team games as he stood with his brothers (Sam and Harold) whilst they were in the Herbert Street stand. As the years went by and I got older, I progressively 'graduated' up each wooden step until I was able to assume my rightful place, upstairs, with the other 'big lads' at the front, directly behind the 'sticks'. I spent countless years up there, leaning over the front, banging on the hoardings and shouting to cheer our lads on or 'verbally intimidate' the opposition when they stood beneath us on the try line. I spent more time than I care to remember staring at the big '40 minute' clock above the scoreboard in the far corner mentally trying to make the finger move faster if we were winning and slower if we were losing. That iconic little Hutchins stand in which I spent so much of my life, became my 'spiritual' home. And it still is ! That said, in the final few years of our sad existence at Watersheddings I stood with my dear old dad opposite the tunnel in what remained after the Herbert Street stand had been demolished. Good times. Good memories.
  11. You're absolutely correct. The South African was indeed John Winton. I'd forgotten about him. My memory must be getting 'dim'. That said after Leeds beat us (sadly) 13-0 in the 3rd Round of the Challenge Cup in 1968, I then reluctantly decided to support our 'conquerors'* during their semi-final game against Wigan at Station Road and then subsequently all the way down to Wembley against Wakefield. The 'Watersplash Final'. What a game that was. It was one of those once in a lifetime "I was there" moments. And I was there ! That said, if that game had been anywhere other than Wembley it would have been abandoned or called-off and re-played on another date. * I Only 'supported' Leeds because I believed that the only team capable of beating the mighty Roughyeds must, by default, be the only team capable of winning the cup at Wembley. And they were ! So, I must have been right !
  12. Nope. He wasn't the best defensive fullback we've every had. Nobody can beat Martin Murphy in that department. However Murphy, unfortunately, couldn't kick the ball. Dyson on the other hand, could. He kicked over 200 goals at an average of more than three in every game he played. However, Frankie Dyson was a player of his time. He could tackle when he had to but, it's fair to say that he was a 'stout lad' and, physically he was built more for 'comfort rather than speed'. As a result, in a foot race I never remember him actively chasing and catching any opposition player that didn't have a number 8 or 10 on their shirt. If you see what I mean ? As a matter of interest, anyone remember fullback Brian Curry (South African ?) He kicked an average of three per game, two of which were world-class goals right off the touchline against Bradford (cc 2nd round replay) in 1968.
  13. Not that it happened very often but, the 12 players in front of Ganley knew that if any opposition player broke through our defensive line that, unless that opposition player deliberately chose to run straight into Ganley in order to be tackled then it was a stone-cold, cast-iron certainty, he would score a try. As you say Bernard Ganley could never be classed as a great full back. But, then again, as player he wasn't (much) expected to tackle. He had one job and one job only. To kick goals. And at that specific job, at that moment in time, the records show that he was the best in the world. The huge number of points he scored in every game he played more than made up for his 'defensive frailties'. If only the Roughyeds could discover another such prolific goal kicker now. And as a matter of interest, along with a couple of other die-hard Roughyed supporters and some of the remaining players from the great side of the 50s, I attended Bernard's funeral in Knutsford about 10 years ago. A sad day that was !
  14. Duncan Platt ? A better full back than Martin Murphy ? ? ? I watched both of them from the start, to the end, of their playing days for the Roughyeds. I'll give you a clue: One of then has been inducted into the ORLFC 'Hall of Fame' and the other one hasn't.
  15. Lord Platt ? Or, do you mean Laurie Platt ? ?
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