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rlno1

What happened to Oldham

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What happened to this once proud club that saw them drop to the third tier?

I recall in the 80's and 90's they produced international quality players and averaged reasonable crowds, always tough to beat.

How did it all fall apart?

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They sold their ground and lost their home. This has to be a huge factor. Every club that has done so has struggled since when they have not had a replacement to go to or at least been able to share on a fairly equal footing.

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They lost their ground and moved into Boundary Park but the landlords weren’t very accommodating and they entered a nomadic existence similar to Swinton. Once the rot had set in their best juniors looked elsewhere i.e. Harris, Sinfield, Turner, Sneyd etc. 

Edited by deluded pom?
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They sold their ground to pay off debts, but the most important factor was the local council going back on their word to build a new ground for both the professional clubs in the town. 

We had some fantastic sides at various periods in the 80s and 90s - players of the calibre of Des Foy, Mike Ford and Andy Goodway in the 80s, and Tommy Martyn, Chris Joynt, Barrie McDermott and Bob Lindner in the early 90s. 

Under Mike Fords coaching in the period between 1999 and 2001, we came very close to returning to Super League, losing the NFP Grand Final in 2001 to Widnes. Who knows where a different result might have taken us? 

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Which is what differentiates us from other countries , as most world professional sports were born in the UK , the clubs here built their stadiums themselves over many decades ago , the rest of the world did things differently , with local councils providing facilities for sports clubs to use 

Many clubs then hit a bad spell ( some brought on by the Bosman ruling removing transfer fees for players ) with them mortgaging their stadiums to either keep afloat or to compete ( some ripped off by unscrupulous owners ) , leaving them either homeless or unable to produce enough income 

Some have been fortunate and have had stadium built for them with varying degrees of success , some have been able to share with football , and others have struggled 

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Another major problem, one I suppose that affects other clubs is the, is the attendees are the same as before and getting older. The town was had a thriving school rugby set up, at both junior and secondary level but no more.  This demise doesn't get youngsters interested in the sport with the result that fewer youngsters go on to play open age rugby.

Oldham did have probably one of the game's strongest open age set ups with most teams having two teams playing at weekends. None of the existing teams have enough players to field just one team anymore and many have given up and gone out of existence. I feel summer rugby is a major contributory factor and has killed open age rugby and has caused many of the problems the senior game has now.

The powers that be need to read these concerns and get their heads out of the sand before the game dies instead of just drawing their fat salaries and swanning off for a jolly in Singapore!

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Featherstone had some great battles with Oldham, especially in the 80s and 90s. The Old Trafford Second Division Final was a classic, Oldham got 22 - 0 up, then Rovers led 26 - 22, only to get pipped in the last minute by a Des Foy try which was converted. 28 - 26, great game.

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When i first started following Huddersfield in the late 80's, Oldham were regarded as a top team, i remember games against them always being seen as big games, the 2 towns are only separated by a big hill!

In the 90's there was a bit of a rivalry built up, and i remember a challenge cup quarter final n 1995 which attracted over 8,000, with a good 3-4,000 travelling Fartowners, which is still spoken about fondly with older supporters. *

Unthinkable now that 8,000 would turn up to a game between Oldham and Huddersfield, 8,000 don't even turn up to any quarter finals these days!

 

* There was also a crowd of 9,300 at the McAlpine against Halifax and 5,700 in the next round against Keighley!

Edited by meast

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2 hours ago, meast said:

When i first started following Huddersfield in the late 80's, Oldham were regarded as a top team, i remember games against them always being seen as big games, the 2 towns are only separated by a big hill!

In the 90's there was a bit of a rivalry built up, and i remember a challenge cup quarter final n 1995 which attracted over 8,000, with a good 3-4,000 travelling Fartowners, which is still spoken about fondly with older supporters. *

Unthinkable now that 8,000 would turn up to a game between Oldham and Huddersfield, 8,000 don't even turn up to any quarter finals these days!

 

* There was also a crowd of 9,300 at the McAlpine against Halifax and 5,700 in the next round against Keighley!

Yep, Watersheddings was pretty rammed that day, we won and then played Wigan in the semi, ironically at the McAlpine. 

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If Oldham got a decent stadium what would be the chances of them returning to the higher levels of the game.

I recall Huddersfield were once down and out in the lower leagues attracting a few hundred spectators, now they are in super league

Edited by rlno1
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Even in our recent history as a new club there's not many clubs that have been to as many grand finals as we have...can't bloody win em' like but at least we got there lol..

7 or 8 grand finals appearances ,trans pennies cup runner up 1998, 1 game away from SL in 2002 and league one champions in 2015....no bad for 21 years..with no money and no facilities lol..

 

I just need to win the euromillions and we'll be back up there..

Edited by roughyedspud
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OLDHAM RLFC

the 8TH most successful team in british RL

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46 minutes ago, roughyedspud said:

Even in our recent history as a new club there's not many clubs that have been to as many grand finals as we have...can't bloody win em' like but at least we got there lol..

7 or 8 grand finals appearances ,trans pennies cup runner up 1998, 1 game away from SL in 2002 and league one champions in 2015....no bad for 21 years..with no money and facilities lol..

 

I just need to win the euromillions and we'll be back up there..

Watching the ‘yeds yesterday ‘spud, a Euromillions win won’t be enough.

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6 hours ago, rlno1 said:

If Oldham got a decent stadium what would be the chances of them returning to the higher levels of the game.

I recall Huddersfield were once down and out in the lower leagues attracting a few hundred spectators, now they are in super league

Do Oldham have a Ken Davy waiting in the wings with plenty of money?

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On 09/06/2019 at 04:57, rlno1 said:

What happened to this once proud club that saw them drop to the third tier?

I recall in the 80's and 90's they produced international quality players and averaged reasonable crowds, always tough to beat.

How did it all fall apart?

Superleague happened, and it damaged a lot of clubs in the first 5 years

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7 minutes ago, paulwalker71 said:

Do Oldham have a Ken Davy waiting in the wings with plenty of money?

Nothing to with having a multi millionaire getting a 75 Million windfall , all Oldham need to do is ' merge ' with another club 40 miles away and everything will be fine , they'll be topping SL in a few years 😉

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I used to love going to Watersheddings.  And in the 80's they had some great players, in addition to those mentioned there was Charlie McAlister and Paul Round.    Oldham's decline is very sad.  Selling your ground with nowhere else to go you can call your own is always a mistake IMO.  Look at Swinton and Hunslet, or Bramley.    

Oldham v Fev 1988. Apologies for poor quality.

 

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7 hours ago, rlno1 said:

If Oldham got a decent stadium what would be the chances of them returning to the higher levels of the game.

I recall Huddersfield were once down and out in the lower leagues attracting a few hundred spectators, now they are in super league

I have always said that Huddersfield were on the up when Oldham were on the way down.Someone in Huddersfield must have banged heads together and made that Stadium happen.Whatever combination of factors occurred for Huddersfield,Oldham just did not have.Whether you look at the owners of Oldham Athletic,Oldham Rugby League or the council, none of them had the right stuff.Instead we had years of faffing about,the rugby ended up as nomads and both the latics and the rugby are teetering on the edge.Yet in the early nineties.Both teams in semi finals, national headlines,the town buzzing.Oldham Athletic seemed to attract a succession of owners who messed things up further.The Rugby club owner never had the funds to be of any influence and that's how it's been.Two hundred and something attended the 1895 cup v Doncaster.Its not looking good for both the Oldham Teams.

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On 09/06/2019 at 10:08, Gooleboy said:

Featherstone had some great battles with Oldham, especially in the 80s and 90s. The Old Trafford Second Division Final was a classic, Oldham got 22 - 0 up, then Rovers led 26 - 22, only to get pipped in the last minute by a Des Foy try which was converted. 28 - 26, great game.

One of the best games I've ever seen live that


Now then, it's a race between Sandie....and Fairburn....and the little man is in........yeees he's in.

I, just like those Castleford supporters felt that the ball should have gone to David Plange but he put the bit betwen his teeth...and it was a try

Kevin Ward - best player I have ever seen

DSC04156_edited-1_thumb.jpg

The real Mick Gledhill is what you see on here, a Bradford fan ........, but deep down knows that Bradford are just not good enough to challenge the likes of Leeds & St Helens.

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1 minute ago, Kenilworth Tiger said:

One of the best games I've ever seen live that

It was often the case at Old Trafford that the Second Division game was the better game 

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Back in the 50s Oldham were getting gates as big as Warrington n Saints  and were a top club.

Then struggled from the mid 60s onwards on the field but kept a hard core 4k and potential with success to be a lot bigger.

Going bust and losing the ground at a point where demographics changing quickly  was a real double whammy.

Now in a pre Ken Davey Huddersfield situation where older supporters no longer being replaced.

 

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2 hours ago, Gooleboy said:

It was often the case at Old Trafford that the Second Division game was the better game 

Especially Oldham v Hull KR.

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On 09/06/2019 at 10:08, Gooleboy said:

Featherstone had some great battles with Oldham, especially in the 80s and 90s. The Old Trafford Second Division Final was a classic, Oldham got 22 - 0 up, then Rovers led 26 - 22, only to get pipped in the last minute by a Des Foy try which was converted. 28 - 26, great game.

Bizarrely enough, I was describing that game to a friend yesterday.

I was there and it was superb.

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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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3 hours ago, koli said:

 

Going bust and losing the ground at a point where demographics changing quickly  was a real double whammy.

 

We didn't lose watersheddings...the council conned us out of it..

The club wanted to sell all the remaining land at sheddings,the stadium,greyhound stadium and car park, to a property developer for somewhere in the region of £4m that would have cleared our £1.5m debt and left us with money in the bank to start somewhere fresh..

The council made a counter off of £1.5m for all the land and the promise of building the club a new stadium..a offer the club took...no brainer really 

The council then sold the land to the very same property developer for upwards of £4m and the roughyeds never got the stadium they where promised...

And to make things worse our beloved council have bailed out latics to the tune of £15m plus over the last 15 years..

And while I'm ranting....the club have spent 20 years looking for a proper home..the bloody RFL own a playing field in oldham with 3 pitches on it,it's 5mins from a metrolink station and 5mins from a junction of the m60...the perfect site for a community RL facility.....but no.....halfwits

 

And breath...

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OLDHAM RLFC

the 8TH most successful team in british RL

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13 minutes ago, roughyedspud said:

We didn't lose watersheddings...the council conned us out of it..

And breath...

I'm glad that you explained it, as I couldn't bring myself to put into words how the council screwed us over....

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