Founders’ Walk

Date published: Wednesday, July 15, 2015

OLDHAM RLFC fans should note that the local leg of the much-publicised Founders’ Walk, which celebrates the 120th anniversary of Rugby League, starts at 12.30pm from Waterhead Park on Wednesday, July 22.

It will be officially started by the Mayor of Oldham, Councillor Ateeque Ur-Rehman and will take in the blue plaque near to the Oldham club’s former Watersheddings ground during the 3.2 miles to the finish at Hathershaw College in Bellfield Avenue.

Before leaving Waterhead Park, there will be a community event, supported by the Youth Council and by Oldham Council’s Sports Development team.

Individuals, rugby league fans, teams and community groups are invited to take part in the Walk and the cost is only £5 per person. Individuals or groups can also raise funds for an organisationn or charity of their choice.

Given that Oldham Football Club as it was then known (Oldham RLFC as we know it today) was one of the founder members of the sport we know today as Rugby League, the Walk in our borough is expected to be well supported.

The Leader of the House of Commons, Chris Grayling MP has sent Parliament’s best wishes to everyone who will be involved in the Walk.

Organised in association with the sport’s charity, Rugby League Cares, the Walk takes place over six days from Sunday, July 19 to July 24 and takes in the original home stadiums of the 22 clubs, including Oldham, which founded the Northern Union on August 29, 1895.

The 120-mile venture gives people the opportunity to raise money for good causes in the sport by walking sections of each day’s route, full days or the full 120-mile route.

Responding to a question in the House of Commons by Warrington South MP David Mowat, Mr Grayling paid tribute to the important role Rugby League plays in its communities.

“My honourable friend represents the great northern town of Warrington, where I once stood as a candidate as well, and also visited the local Rugby League team to see it play,” he said.

“I’d like to take advantage of this opportunity to wish all of those involved in promoting the anniversary on the walk, the very best in celebrating a sport that has been an important part of our northern communities and continues to be so.”


The Founders Walk takes place over six days but anyone wanting to take part can sign up to walk as far as they like on any or all of the route, with each of the days split into smaller stages.

Day 1 (Sunday, July 19): an eight-mile stroll around Hull, starting from the Walton Street car park and taking in The Boulevard before ending at the KC Stadium.

Day 2 (Monday, July 20): starts at Fartown in Huddersfield and passes through Brighouse, Batley and Dewsbury before reaching Wakefield Trinity at the end of the 20-mile stage.

Day 3 (Tuesday, July 21): covers 24.5 miles between Hunslet and Halifax, taking in Headingley, Manningham, Bradford Park Avenue and Illingworth on the way.

Day 4 (Wednesday, July 22): is 22 miles starting at Rochdale and ending at Edgeley Park, Stockport via Oldham.

Day 5 (Thursday, July 23): 22.5 miles between Wheater Street in Broughton and the DW Stadium in Wigan.

Day 6 (Friday, July 24): walk concludes with a 23-mile stage between Fletcher Street in Warrington and Langtree Park in St Helens.

For more information on the route or to register for the Founders Walk, please visit www.rugbyleaguecares.org/founders_walk_2015 or email Katharine.Irwin@RLCares.org.uk