Keith Potter Has Died in Hospital

Date published: Wednesday, December 19, 2012

LIFELONG Oldham Rugby fan Keith Potter, vice-chairman of the club in a memorable 1986-87 season, has died in hospital.

In those days, the late and much lamented Watersheddings ground would regularly attract crowds of up to 6,000 and the club was run by a committee elected from its membership.
Keith was successful in more than one such election and served on the committee for several years in the 1980s, becoming vice-chairman in a season that will forever be remembered for a shock 10-8 first-round Challenge Cup win against mighty champions Wigan.
In the same season, Oldham were beaten by Wigan in the Lancashire Cup final at St Helens and on a never-to-be-forgotten Watersheddings night came closer than any other club team to beating the invincible Australian tourists of 1986, going down 22-16 after a rousing battle.
Remarkably, though, the same Oldham squad lost its last six Division One games of that season to finish the best of four clubs that were relegated out of a division of 16.
They finished 13th, with nine points more than 14th-placed Featherstone and the same number as Leeds, who escaped the drop because of their superior for-and-against record.
Two season earlier, in 1984-85, Oldham finished fifth in the top division —- their best placing in 24 years — behind champions Hull KR, St Helens, Wigan and Leeds.
Keith was on the committee throughout this time, having been elected initially in time for the 1982-83 season when Terry Flanagan was a young captain, Frank Myler was coach and Ray Hatton was chairman.
Others on the committee around that time included Nigel Tench, Keith Broadbent, Harvey Ashworth, Jack Bowden, Paul Lovatt, Bob Ogden, Eric Buckley and John Hall.
Keith’s late wife Ann, a former Oldham Carnival Queen, died several years ago and he is survived by a son, two daughters and two grandchildren.
His funeral service will be at Oldham Parish Church on Friday, December 28 at 11.30am, followed by interment at Greenacres Cemetery.
Inquiries to G Barlow and Sons Ltd (0161 624 4301)