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Anita Bath

greatest game memories

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In these troubled times with no games being played might be worth trying to lift spirits by sharing your greatest hornets memories. What game sticks in your memory?
 

Mine, I think it was 1973-4.  We were going great guns under Frank Myler in the top half of the first division. Away game at a then mighty Featherstone Rovers, their team full of internationals on a long winning home streak and Post Office Road a real graveyard for all clubs.

 

Hornets trailing for most of the game and then put together a monumental comeback behind the loudest ‘ooooooor....neeeeeeets’ chant I can ever remember.  Got the tying points in the dying minutes...30-30 I think the final score. What a day.

 

Anyone else remember that game?  

 

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When Hornets beat Cas 17 - 16 and Goulding rolled back the years circa Saints 1996 he was brilliant.  The crowd was touching two thousand so the atmosphere was good.  I remember calling in The Albion at Shawclough for a pint and got talking to some Rochdale guys in their twenties about the game, not one of them had ever seen Hornets live which I found quite sad to be honest.

I also remember going to my first Saints game at the Athletics Ground possibly around 1970 and you had the shale kop behind the goal with a tea hut perched on top selling hot pork pies.  I cant remember the score but Hornets was always up for it then.

One more was a cup game Hornets and HKR 1982 ish my mate from my amateur playing days Fenny was in the squad. It was a good crowd on that day and Hornets had a good go against a top HKR team.  For anybody who remembers Fenny he later became one of the very first serious money lottery winners 

Edited by Larry Jones

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Perhaps someone has access to and can post video from past glory, especially the Athletic Ground days?

There are some of Oldham at Watersheddings on the main forum - if you dare to wander to the dark side!

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5 minutes ago, glemiln said:

Perhaps someone has access to and can post video from past glory, especially the Athletic Ground days?

There are some of Oldham at Watersheddings on the main forum - if you dare to wander to the dark side!

Yes. Feel free to come on over. You know you want to. Don't be scared ! :kolobok_vampire:

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Beating the mighty Leeds in the same era at the old Athletic Grounds. Billy Holiday's long distance drop goal that clinched it. It seems to get further and further away from the goals as the years go by. 

Beating the old enemy when we had two players sent off in the first half at Watersheddings comes to mind. 11 played 13 for more than 40 minutes we tackled them to a standstill. In fact I've more happy memories at Watersheddings than I have from the Athletic Grounds when we played Oldham.

Playing the "A " team against Stevo's all conquering Dewsbury team because of a glut of injuries  and beating them. Of course Hornets being Hornets all the " A " team lads were dropped for the next game and we got hammered.

So many great memories especially from the Myler, Coslett era when we had a team that could beat anybody on their day.

Edited by Tyrone Shoelaces

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A short, but satisfying clip from the Regal Trophy, 1995

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=73&ved=2ahUKEwjRyeD17q3oAhVBhlwKHcxnDs84RhC3AjACegQIBBAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fedayfm.com%2Fvideo%2FljKmI7Gx13E%2F&usg=AOvVaw1qDl_IwAed0C_UrT_hruua

Classic RL on YouTube  - on main forum includes priceless Alex Murphy’s Rant, Another Bloody Sunday and not least Go with Noakes, when he interviewed, trained and played with Castleford.

 

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3 hours ago, Tyrone Shoelaces said:

Beating the mighty Leeds in the same era at the old Athletic Grounds. Billy Holiday's long distance drop goal that clinched it. It seems to get further and further away from the goals as the years go by. 

Beating the old enemy when we had two players sent off in the first half at Watersheddings comes to mind. 11 played 13 for more than 40 minutes we tackled them to a standstill. In fact I've more happy memories at Watersheddings than I have from the Athletic Grounds when we played Oldham.

Playing the "A " team against Stevo's all conquering Dewsbury team because of a glut of injuries  and beating them. Of course Hornets being Hornets all the " A " team lads were dropped for the next game and we got hammered.

So many great memories especially from the Myler, Coslett era when we had a team that could beat anybody on their day.

Yes, after the Billy Holiday drop goal the semi was Bramley at home televised on the BBC it was the first time the pivot move was put on and it worked to perfection. Hornets winning 14-2 after a really tough game. Something tells me it was Graham Starkey set piece. 

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Good thread this, helping me to pass the time as we enter day 5 of lockdown in the south of France.

I was just a kid, but in the mid seventies, we played Hull FC in a promotion battle. I used to stand in

the railway shed and it was rammed, mainly with Hull fans. I had never seen as many women at a

match before, and boy, were they frightening! Shrieking and wailing at Hornet's players and the ref.

However, it was the performance of one player in this match that made me a lifelong supporter.

Alan Hodkinson continually ran at, not around, the Hull pack. When Hornet's didn't have the ball

he smashed any Hull player who ran near him. Hull had an enormous pack, including Keith Boxall

and Tony Banham, both ended up being substituted, shaking their heads in disbelief as Hodkinson

kept coming at them. Hornet's won and at the end of the game Hodkinson could hardly make it off

the field, he trudged off, full of mud and blood, the best all round eighty minute performance I have

ever seen. Thank you Alan Hodkinson, there are not many people in this world whom I respect, you

are definitely one of the few.


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1 hour ago, Popeye Doyle said:

Good thread this, helping me to pass the time as we enter day 5 of lockdown in the south of France.

I was just a kid, but in the mid seventies, we played Hull FC in a promotion battle. I used to stand in

the railway shed and it was rammed, mainly with Hull fans. I had never seen as many women at a

match before, and boy, were they frightening! Shrieking and wailing at Hornet's players and the ref.

However, it was the performance of one player in this match that made me a lifelong supporter.

Alan Hodkinson continually ran at, not around, the Hull pack. When Hornet's didn't have the ball

he smashed any Hull player who ran near him. Hull had an enormous pack, including Keith Boxall

and Tony Banham, both ended up being substituted, shaking their heads in disbelief as Hodkinson

kept coming at them. Hornet's won and at the end of the game Hodkinson could hardly make it off

the field, he trudged off, full of mud and blood, the best all round eighty minute performance I have

ever seen. Thank you Alan Hodkinson, there are not many people in this world whom I respect, you

are definitely one of the few.

Hodky was a top player. He'd be one of the props in my all time best 13.

I remember him scoring a try against St Helens. Saints had been having a wage dispute and had only started training as a squad the week before the season started. Late in the game Hornets were just winning and got a play the ball just inside the Saints 25. We took it too quickly to Hodky who promptly dropped the ball. Thinking quickly he kicked the ball onwards and set off after it. All the Saints players just stood there appealing for a knock on.  The ref, to everybodies amazement, said play on. This was right by me on the Railway side, scoreboard end. Hodky caught up with ball after it had rolled about 3 inches out of play over the dead ball line and touched it down. To everybodies surprise and the disbelief of the Saints players the ref gave a try !

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He would be in my "all time 13" as well.

From my time of watching Hornets, imagine a front row of Alan Hodkinson, Phil McKenzie and a fit Danny Sculthorpe,

combined, they  all  had the attributes that are required to be good at rugby league!


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Picking your favourite game is always going to subjective. However here is mine  


I’ve supported Rochdale Hornets for over 60 years, remembering the great days of Frank Myler & Kel Coslett, Derrick Fox producing an amazing win at Featherstone on his debut as Hornets player coach and many other outstanding games. 


But the one that stands out in my mind has to be the Play Off Final at Leigh Sports Village in 2013. 

To win our first trophy for 97 years against the owd’ enemy and gain promotion to The Championship, was brilliant and very emotional. Many of us had waited for that win all our lives, and the final result was total magic!!!

Long will it live in my memory !!!

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The Bill Holliday drop goal against Leeds in the John Player match was one of the highlights for me. Especially as I went to work in Leeds several years later and their fans still remembered it.

Another match I remember was in 1964 or 65. We had drawn with Hull in the Challenge Cup on the Saturday and had a try dubiously disallowed for offside. The replay was a mid week afternoon as pre floodlight days. About 6 of the 15 lads who were in the same form  as I was at Heywood G.S. had either dental or optician appointments  or headaches that afternoon. We were beaten easily. I missed a Woodwork lesson and justice was done as I failed Woodwork O level.

One regret is that I missed the 5-3 loss to Wigan in the 1958 Challenge Cup semi final  as my cousin got married on the day. My Dad promised to take me to Wembley when we get there!! Still waiting.

Since 1954 I've seen many great matches and many I would like to forget as well although I can say that I've never walked  out of a game before the end. I came close to it a couple of times last year.

I've also seen some great players such as Ted Cahill, Bill Hanson, Johnny Fishwick, Norman Short, Jim Parr, Mick Baxter, Alan Robinson. Alan Hodkinson, Graham Starkey, John Butler and of course Frank Myler  to name a few from the past.

 

 

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11 hours ago, Pedro said:

One regret is that I missed the 5-3 loss to Wigan in the 1958 Challenge Cup semi final

So near, yet so far...agony....I was standing behind the goal posts watching Les Jones' kick going agonisingly wide and that try by Italian Ferdi Sarterato (I read playing under the pseudonym Fred Corsi to avoid persecution by rugby union authorities?).  We even beat York to get to the semi! 

https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Rochdale_Hornets

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3 hours ago, Excolt 1 said:

Leigh away we were massive underdogs. We won Graham Starkey scored all the points. 

I was playing football that day and when I looked at the scores in the Football Pink I couldn't believe my eyes. Leigh were a real top side in those days. Wasn't it 13-3 ?

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2 hours ago, Tyrone Shoelaces said:

Football Pink I couldn't believe my eyes.

When I brought my wife to Rochdale for her first taste of Northern England  “life”, she couldn’t believe her eyes, to put it mildly, when I bought the Pink and even more so when I straight away opened it to check Hornets’ result!   No Pink now,  but little has changed, over many years, in keeping tabs on Hornets from afar- and informing the wife - loss or win!  She’s enjoying the peace, for now - alas, it will be much later than sooner before it changes.

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Yes Tyrone, 13-3 I think Challenge Cup we ended up losing at home to Wakefield after Eddie Tees drop goal just faded wide of the post in a 10-10 draw at Belle view. 

 

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10 hours ago, Excolt 1 said:

Yes Tyrone, 13-3 I think Challenge Cup we ended up losing at home to Wakefield after Eddie Tees drop goal just faded wide of the post in a 10-10 draw at Belle view. 

 

A pal of mine went to that game. He reckoned the drop goal went over ! They played again on the following Thursday I think. There was about 18,000 on the old Athletic Grounds. That Wakefield team was one of the best teams I ever saw. They ran out like 13 giants, we were 13 blokes.  We got battered. I recall one of their tries . It started on the 25 on their right wing, went through about 10 pairs of hands, and ended with them scoring in the left corner with a two man overlap. 

They had to play two games in midweek, the last one being on a Thursday. We played them on the following Saturday. Wakefield offered Hornets board money to move the game from the Saturday to another day and the Hornets directors accepted that. When the players got to hear about it they threatened to go on strike unless it was played on the Saturday !

Edited by Tyrone Shoelaces

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On 22/03/2020 at 09:34, Tyrone Shoelaces said:

Beating the old enemy when we had two players sent off in the first half at Watersheddings comes to mind. 11 played 13 for more than 40 minutes we tackled them to a standstill. In fact I've more happy memories at Watersheddings than I have from the Athletic Grounds when we played Oldham.

I remember that game very well!

I think it was a Christmas or New Year game....the weather was atrocious, lashing freezing rain all game and a thick fog which almost got the match abandoned.

I was in the stand opposite the tunnel and couldn't see what was going on in the far corners or sometimes across the field. There were ooohs and aaahs  and intermittent cheers to guide us that something had happened.

As an Oldham fan, losing that game hurt but in truth Hornets were the better team back then and brought good support.

My other memory of that game is the Hornets fullback Chamberlain taking a pot at goal from the side of the ground where I was standing and aiming at the Herbert Street/ covered stand at the social club end. Chamberlain was an old school kicker....he built a monolithic launch tower by knocking up loads of turf with his heel, pointed the ball almost flat like a torpedo and then, to the booing of a few thousand Oldhamers charged in a straight line and belted it full on with his toecap. The atmospherics were so debilitating that day that the ball never had the legs to make it to the posts and it fell short. Chaimberlain, who was a phenomenal kicker, stood there perplexed and confused as to why the kick didn't carry. It was the Watersheddings micro climate! It was a filthy, filthy day when that game was played, even by Sheddings standards!

Edited by Pigeon Lofter
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26 minutes ago, Pigeon Lofter said:

I remember that game very well!

I think it was a Christmas or New Year game....the weather was atrocious, lashing freezing rain all game and a thick fog which almost got the match abandoned.

I was in the stand opposite the tunnel and couldn't see what was going on in the far corners or sometimes across the field. There were ooohs and aaahs  and intermittent cheers to guide us what was happening.

As an Oldham fan, losing that game hurt but in truth Hornets were the better team back then and brought good support.

My other memory of that game is the Hornets fullback Chamberlain taking a pot at goal from the side of the ground where I was standing and aiming at the Herbert Street/ covered stand at the social club end. Chamberlain was an old school kicker....he built a monolithic launch tower by knocking up loads of turf with his heel, pointed the ball almost flat like a torpedo and then, to the booing of a few thousand Oldhamers charged in a straight line and belted it full on with his toecap. The atmospherics were so debilitating that day that the ball never had the legs to make it to the posts and it fell short. Chaimberlain, who was a phenomenal kicker, stood there perplexed and confused as to why the kick didn't carry. It was the Watersheddings micro climate! It was a filthy, filthy day when that game was played, even by Sheddings standards!

Yes you're right, the weather was atrocious. I think it may have been New Year.  I was stood upstairs in that double decker stand behind the goals. Visibility wasn't great so I'd no idea what the sending offs were all about but given Hodky was one and Peter Clarke the other I wasn't exactly surprised. Hornets defence was terrific that day but Oldham helped by coming down the middle all the time. Having said that it wasn't a day for throwing the ball about.

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1 hour ago, Excolt 1 said:

Is that when Stuart Whitehead scored a length of the field try? 

Yes it was. I was at the game on a Boxing Day around 1973/4 if I remember correctly. 

I went with my then girlfriend and her dad who were both fanatical Oldham fans and I had to stand in the Oldham end behind the sticks.
 

It was so foggy we could only see half the pitch and I remember Stuart Whitehead leaving our half into the fog and a great roar as he scored out of sight!!

Happy days  

 

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with nothing else to pass the time I thought i would find the details of these games and tidy up a few matters.

 

Always difficult identifying wins at oldham . . .there have been so many😊

Two different oldham games there, both Xmas time

The one where whitehead got the try was 26 Dec 1973 (won 15-11)

There one with Chamberlain kicking was 27 Dec 1971 (won 8-2) 

 

As I said...so many to choose from!
 

The fev game I selected ended 17-17. Fogarty, brophy and halmshaw scored the tries...what glorious players they were.  13 Jan 1974. We had won our previous 8 games, including the JP QF v Leeds with the Holliday drop goal (30 Dec 73) and the Bramley SF 14-2 6 jan 74, but Starkey wasnt at the club. he left around 1970 I think)

We then went on to win the next 3 games to make it 12 games unbeaten but then lost the John Player Cup final to Wire.

 

The leigh cup game - 25 Jan 69 It was 13-4 (they didnt cross our line) and yes starkey scored all 13 points. We then played Bramley away in second round and drew 7-7 winning the replay 7-4 and going on to the Wakefield tie in the QF. 10-10 away and lost 15-2 in the replay. That was Dale’s promotion season and I missed the away game to watch Dale. My brother was there (puggy) and we were both at the replay.

 

Hull KR cup game in1960s...8 feb 1964 drew 12-12 away and lost 22-7 in replay. The other HKR cup game was 29 Jan 1989 we lost 24-28.

Now to saints games

The earlier saints game mentioned was (i think) 23 march 1970 lost 0-10. Not many teams kept that saints team down to 10 points. Earlier in the season at their place we scored 10...but they scored 63 (sixty three).

 

The remarkable win over saints was 30 oct 1969  13-2 at athletic grounds.

 

 

the post strike game was 5 sep 1976, despite Hodkystwo tries we lost 21-24.

 

The dewsbury game was 17 april 1974 won 13-11 with 10 changes to the starting line up from the previous game. Dewsbury were champions the previous season with two stevos....mick and Nigel. That took us into the end of season play off which as mentioned was a disaster with the first ream players back in...lost at Widnes 31-5

 

The Hull FC game was 14 March 1976 we won 6-5 with three John Maloney goals

 

Finally the famous wigan cup semi final was 29 March 1958....what a day. Closest to wembley we have been in the 62 years since was the Wakefield QF in 1969.

 

I havent mentioned the  play off final win (against who else but ...Oldham) submitted by the collector since its probably reasonably fresh in our memories. I do remember the smile on Puggies face that day. When the collector was kind enough to join me in seeing Puggy in his coffin the night before his funeral he was wearing his Hornets shirt and the smile was still there.

 

Whats remarkable about these submissions are many games that we actually lost...but each one was testament to the fighting hornets spirit. I am glad nobody mentioned that 63-10 loss at saints!

 

I hope some of you enjoy these memories as much as I have tracing the records.

 

Who knows what lies ahead in these difficult times but what we all have is our cherished Hornets memories and wherever we may end up they will always be with us.

 

Keep em coming and keep well

 

 

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35 minutes ago, The Collector said:

Yes it was. I was at the game on a Boxing Day around 1973/4 if I remember correctly. 

I went with my then girlfriend and her dad who were both fanatical Oldham fans and I had to stand in the Oldham end behind the sticks.
 

It was so foggy we could only see half the pitch and I remember Stuart Whitehead leaving our half into the fog and a great roar as he scored out of sight!!

Happy days  

 

Spot on collector......our posts coincided and you got the date right. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What a fantastic read Anita.  One of my best rugby league days and I have been fortunate enough to have many was travelling to Celtic Crusaders (Bridgend) in a mini bus with the Hornets fanatics.  Puggy was on that bus and despite the discomfort he must have felt on such a journey he was in his element.  This thread shows how close Hornets came to glory and what proud clubs both Hornets and Oldham are and have been with two iconic stadiums sadly gone with many others.

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