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Eddie
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I know Oldham were expected to be in a relegation scrap but 2 wins and 1 draw from 20 games isn’t great. I remember them being in SL at the start and getting 4k crowds at Boundary Park. I’d be interested to know is there must interest in RL in the area these days and is there any way back for them? 

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1 hour ago, Eddie said:

I know Oldham were expected to be in a relegation scrap but 2 wins and 1 draw from 20 games isn’t great. I remember them being in SL at the start and getting 4k crowds at Boundary Park. I’d be interested to know is there must interest in RL in the area these days and is there any way back for them? 

The same for Swinton, they have no home and council screwed them years back . No infrastructure, no chance of a future. That´s pretty much the story for the whole of Manchester RL sadly.  

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10 minutes ago, ShropshireBull said:

The same for Swinton, they have no home and council screwed them years back . No infrastructure, no chance of a future. That´s pretty much the story for the whole of Manchester RL sadly.  

I think Rochdale will be back, disappointing season but Andy Mazey knows what he’s doing. Salford are still a SL team with two major finals in the last two years. 

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Of all the clubs that have fallen from grace Oldham have been the biggest and the decline is so sad to see. I think comparisons with Swinton are not really valid. Oldham is still a real hotbed of the game and still has some strong vibrant amateur clubs, albeit not as many as 25 or so years ago. It is still a strong production line for the game, I know Wigan have just signed 4 from Saddleworth u16s, but the professional team certainly needs help. When we are talking about investment in the game getting Oldham back as a sustainable professional club with a ground, even at a basic level, could only benefit the game.

Edited by Damien
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I remember a Challenge Cup game at St. Helens in the 70s, the interest in the town for that match was phenomenal.People always said Oldham was a rugby league town, even if they didn't go to all games they turned out for the big matches, and this day was one of them. The East Lancs Road was full of cars and vans packed with Oldham supporters heading for Knowsley Road. I remember spilling out of the back of a builders van in the car park, and seeing so many others climbing out of all sorts of trade vehicles, people turned out to cheer the team on. We got pasted that day but it showed that Oldham had loads of casual support. The local papers, the daily Oldham Evening Chronicle and the special Saturday evening edition The Green Final (printed on lime green paper!) give equal prominence to Oldham Athletic as well as Oldham Rugby (as it was always known), the club was newsworthy and a huge part of the social and sporting fabric of the town. The fate and fortune of the club were known to everyone and even those that didn't attend games probably discussed them in passing. Oldham Rugby was a very big part of professional sport in Oldham.

That's all gone though. The club is a parody of what it once was, and what it represented. Watersheddings was Oldham Rugby. A stadium, actually a complex (as dilapidated as it was). The social club on the Sheddings car park was a lively place with all sorts of entertainment (😁) and known to everyone in town. Now, there's no ground, no social club, no club offices, zero infrastructure. Just a team, a playing kit and a few rugby balls. And most people don't give a monkeys anymore.

All the goodwill must have ebbed away by now. It's run as one mans private possession and more precariously placed now than ever before as the people who care about rugby league have turned their back on the club over the last decade. Oldham isn't a "rugby league town" anymore.

 

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Oldham like other clubs needs it's own base. Don't know if they still play there but Whitebank was pretty horrendous and not really conducive to attracting new fans. The stewarding which I think was run by the football club was also truly awful (players got searched before entering the ground!). 

I'd like to see them get back up to the top, they had some very friendly and knowledgeable fans when I've been. An aging fan base and ownership means it could be tough for them though. 

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It seems like the Rhinos are taking an active role in RL in and around Oldham. I believe there is a college team/Cat3 being set up there.

Oldham's decline has been dreadful. Without a home of their own they're basically stuffed forever now. Its a stark reminder to heartland clubs of how bad it can get and how quickly.

Without a quick turnaround they risk becoming another Hunslet. 

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6 hours ago, Eddie said:

I think Rochdale will be back, disappointing season but Andy Mazey knows what he’s doing. Salford are still a SL team with two major finals in the last two years. 

They are about to be a homeless team who played out of an empty box with no academy. Sadly Covid meant we will never know if they could have grown but they are deeply in the .... 

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I work around the borough throughout the week. One day a couple of weeks ago I saw two different people wearing South Sydney Rabbitohs merchandise, a Saints shirt and a Wigan shirt. As for Roughyeds’ gear? Don’t ask.

Hearing the stories of old and thinking back to going to Sheddings and then Boundary Park in the Super League days with my Dad, it’s depressing to see where the club is now.

Losing the club’s spiritual home was a disaster. And ground-sharing with the football club again is a pipe dream giving the shambolic way they’re been ran at the moment (I support them too, I must of been a real evil person in a past life).

Edited by OL14.yeds
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The club has a bleak future currently with no solid foundation to grow the club. Being nomads doesn’t help and a sole owner who has managed to destroy all relationships including those willing to make significant financial investment. If he were to leave then many disillusioned fans would return. The amateur game remains strong albeit with fewer clubs and continues to produce a conveyer belt of talent to SL.

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30 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

Didn’t Bobby ‘rock on Tommy’ Ball used to mention ‘Oldham Rugby’ in their routines? Or have I been at the Sherry again?

it may be a case of both

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did the bloke who invented the phrase "one hit wonder" invent anything else?

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4 minutes ago, LittleboroRoughyed said:

If he were to leave then many disillusioned fans would return.

I have lost track at the number of things that would lead to disillusioned fans returning.

Play games in Oldham borough and they will return?  No noticeable returnees.

Bring in new board members and they will return?  No noticeable returnees.

Play in red and white hoops and they will return?  No noticeable returnees.

Play local young lads and they will return?  Complained we din't have enough experience on the pitch.

Play in a local park as long as its in Oldham?  Complained Whitebank was substandard and vowed never to return.  

Give free tickets to schools?  Complained about the number of kids running riot.  

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With the best, thats a good bit of PR, though I would say the Bedford team, theres, like, you know, 13 blokes who can get together at the weekend to have a game together, which doesnt point to expansion of the game. Point, yeah go on!

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21 minutes ago, OL14.yeds said:

Losing the club’s spiritual home was a disaster. And ground-sharing with the football club again is a pipe dream giving the shambolic way they’re been ran at the moment (I support them too, I must of been a real evil person in a past life).

I'm just glad I supported both in the later 80's early 90's.  At least I've seen success!  If a long ago memory.  

 

 

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With the best, thats a good bit of PR, though I would say the Bedford team, theres, like, you know, 13 blokes who can get together at the weekend to have a game together, which doesnt point to expansion of the game. Point, yeah go on!

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I grew up watching them, I watch them now. It's a very sad situation, there isn't the same interest in the game in the town what there once was. The amateur game seems OK, I watch Saddleworth rangers and they seem to be doing OK as do the other amateur clubs. Its just the professional club that's gone majorly downhill. 

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Watersheddings was a famed ground for it’s atmosphere, the conditions, for decades- notorious, wondrous, the essence of rugby league past. The ground was sold to pay debts in the ill-fated James Quinn years, after which we lurched from crisis to crisis, ground to ground, meaning the dwindling bands of fans travelling out of the borough to Staylybride, even Prestwich, or amateur grounds like Whitebank or the atmosphere-free, not even owned wholly by the football club, Boundary Park. To call Oldham a rugby league town now, with the club not even in the town, with a hugely uncertain future, with little or no involvement in local schools by the Oldham club, and with the lure of Man Utd, City etc close by, may be close to breaking the Trades Descriptions Act. It’s amateur rl or nothing, with little apparent pathway from the brilliant, rooted amateur clubs to the Roughyeds. I was at primary school I’m the 60s and a teacher had me cutting free passes on the guillotine (Health and Safety, anyone?) to be distributed, and I’d go for free, planting the seed which never left me. We played tl at primary school and held the final on  Watersheddings’ training pitch. I’ll never forget that- wherever I live.  Youngsters have been let in free at recent matches, but what’s to catch them and pull them on when we don’t even know where we’re playing next year, or even if. Without a wider involvement of and in the local community, clubs, schools , volunteers, Council, Oldham and the like, clubs which provided the foundations of our game, will go. Unless SL money is shared more where the need is, at  as in, clubs like Oldham will either disappear or at best limp along as feeder clubs for the wealthy or dying memories for the ageing but dwindling supporter base. I could cry at this state of affairs-and unless radical changes and initiatives are made urgently we’re well down the slippery slope to oblivion. 

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1 hour ago, Eddie said:

If someone with a few quid took over and things improved, do you think there’s enough latent interest for people to get interested again? 

No. People have tried to invest in the past but have come up against a brick wall time and time again. It's like the man in charge doesn't want anybody else to see what a John Halls he's made of his running of the once great Club. 

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1 hour ago, Eddie said:

If someone with a few quid took over and things improved, do you think there’s enough latent interest for people to get interested again? 

The operative words are "took over". So yes is the answer, providing they took over. I've posted recently my views about what should happen, we must move back to Oldham. My suggestion is that we move in with Oldham St Anne's and jointly apply for the funding for ground improvements. It's central and you can see the sheddings from there. It's on the oval ball side of town in a club that shares our values. White bank doesn't. I guarantee we would get more spectators than we have had for a long while. It must also be remembered that Oldham is steeped in the history of the RFL itself. Huddersfield may have been the birthplace but it is Oldham where the greatest game grew and matured. For its first 30 years Queens st Oldham was the HQ of the Northern Union/ RFL. With Joseph Platt, son of Oldham father of Rugby League, as the general secretary. In fact a number of important changes occurred from Oldham, name change to RFL, 13 aside, play the ball. Everything that distinguishes us from union occurred in Oldham. To me it is a passion that we get back playing in Oldham.

Edited by The Art of Hand and Foot
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2 hours ago, ShropshireBull said:

They are about to be a homeless team who played out of an empty box with no academy. Sadly Covid meant we will never know if they could have grown but they are deeply in the .... 

The RFL probably wouldn’t let them have an academy if they wanted one. 

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7 hours ago, Gooleboy said:

Some really sad to read posts here from Olham fans who remember the good day's, such a shame to see the Club in its present state. Getting back to playing in Oldham must be the main priority initially. Is there absolutely no chance of playing at Boundary Park again? 

I’d never say never, but there’s so many underlying factors that make that look unlikely.

There’s the damaged relationship between the clubs after the rugby club left BP in the early 2000s. There’s the state of the football club now with its shambolic ownership and fan unrest (boycotts, protests, bottom of the football league). There’s the fact the pitch there hasn’t been relayed in years and would need doing so to host both teams, and the the obvious cost that comes with that.

And, which is sad to see, there is still a bit of niggle between SOME of the sets of fans. Not exactly on Wigan levels, but as a fan of both clubs and looking at the state of pro sport in the town, it’s not needed.

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The clubs knackered, that's all there is to it really. It's not relevant in the town anymore. Most of the people I know didn't even realise we had a rugby league club until I mentioned it to them. The amateur game in Oldham is probably in better shape. And most of the kids there support superleague clubs. 

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