Harry Brereton RIPDate published: Thursday, June 18, 2015
THE sincere condolences of everyone at Oldham RLFC go to the wife and family of lifelong fan Harry Brereton, who has died in Avalon Park Nursing Home at Salem, aged 82.
He leaves his wife Deirdre, three daughters, Debbie, Karen and Katie, seven grand-children and one great grand-daughter.
A son, Paul, died seven years ago.
Outside of family and work, Harry devoted his life to Oldham Rugby and for much of it he would be at Watersheddings, the old ground, whenever there was anything going on there —- training, colts’ matches, ‘A’ team games, first-team games or social events.
“Of the regulars who turned up to watch training you could always count on Harry being there, even in the depths of winter,” said present-day Oldham RLFC media manager Roger Halstead, who previously covered the club for the Oldham Evening Chronicle for more than 40 years.
He added: “Only those who have stood watching training at ‘Sheddings on a Tuesday or Thursday night in January or February will appreciate how much it meant to Harry and his like just to be there.”
He was a former chairman of the Supporters’ Club and for a time he helped out his beloved Roughyeds as kit manager.
His youngest daughter Katie had the privilege of being the last Oldham Rugby Queen in 1986.
On match days Harry would always stand close to the tunnel where he was well known for his wit and repartee as players of both sides and particularly the referee and touch judges left the field at half time and full time.
He was devastated when the original Oldham club went into liquidation, but he continued to support Oldham RLFC (1997) Ltd as a season-ticket holder and a regular home-and-away fan until ill health forced him into ‘rugby retirement’ two and a half years ago.
At Whitebank he developed a firm friendship with winger Lucas Onyango, with whom he would chat over the boundary wall during stoppages in play on match days.
Said his wife Deirdre: “Oldham Rugby was Harry’s life. As a family man he loved us all to bits, but outside his family his only passion was for the Roughyeds.
“It meant the world to him until he died.”
Funeral arrangements are not yet known, but as soon as they are they will be reported on this website.