Book ReviewDate published: Wednesday, May 20, 2015
ONE fan’s memories, stories, anecdotes and recollections of joy and despair over more than 40 years form the basis of a new book on Oldham RLFC.
Several fantastic books have been penned about the club in recent years, but as far as we can ascertain this is the first one to be written from the perspective of a rank-and-file fan who might just as easily be chatting about his beloved Roughyeds to fellow fans over the bar of his favourite pub.
“From Watersheddings to Whitebank” (London League Publications Ltd, £11.95 paperback) is a collection of memoirs by Craig Halstead (48), who saw his first game at Watersheddings, aged five, in 1971. He has supported Roughyeds ever since.
A book of 208 pages, illustrated with photographs from family collections, from the Oldham Evening Chronicle’s archives and from the Roughyeds’ official club photographer David Murgatroyd, with a foreword by Chris Hamilton, the book provides an insight into how a lifetime of emotions and experiences, good and bad, can be fashioned for anyone who supports a club from childhood.
In the case of this new author, as with thousands of other Oldham fans, those experiences included the liquidation of one club and the birth and rise of a new one, like a phoenix from the ashes of Watersheddings, in the guise of Oldham RLFC (1997) Ltd.
The new club continues to provide the town with a professional rugby league club of which it can be justifiably proud.
The author, who has dedicated his work to Oldham RL fans past and present, says he is proud to have been associated with both Oldham clubs for all but the first five years of his life and proud also to be just as enthusiastic in his support of Chris, Scott and the boys at Whitebank in 2015 as he was in his backing for the old guard at Watersheddings in days of yore.
“From Watersheddings to Whitebank” is available at a special offer price of £10.95 post free in the UK from London League Publications Ltd, PO Box 65784, London NW2 9NS (credit card orders via www.llpshop.co.uk) or it can be ordered from any bookshop at £11.95 and is also available on Amazon.co.uk and Abebooks.co.uk. An E-book for Kindle readers is available on Amazon.