Mick Fogerty rejoins Oldham

Date published: Wednesday, May 4, 2011

OLDHAM RL Club have re-signed centre Mick Fogerty, giving a second chance to a player who served a three-month RFL drugs ban at the end of last season.

His suspension, for using cannabis, ended on January 11 but the player said he needed more time away from the game to attend to “personal issues”.

Now ready to put on his boots again, he has signed a Roughyeds deal which will cover the remainder of this season and the whole of the 2012 campaign.

He trained with the squad last night, but he acknowledges that he will need a week or two of hard physical work to get his fitness up to par before he can play.

Local lad Fogerty (30), formerly with Keighley and Rochdale, had a great first season with Oldham in 2010 when he played in each of his hometown club’s 28 matches and scored 19 tries.

He was joint top try-scorer with winger Lucas Onyango and full-back Paul O’Connor, who is no longer at the club.

A contrite Fogerty said: “I made mistakes, and I have learned the lessons. I needed time away from the game to rectify things.

“Rugby used to be the most important thing in my life. When it was taken away from me I realised there were other things that were more important.

“I still love the game, but I’m coming back to it as a better person. I’m raring to go, and I’m back with Roughyeds for the long haul.

“I’ve four or five years left in me yet, and from the day I first arrived at Oldham I’ve never wanted to go anywhere else. It took me a long while to get to my hometown club, but now I’m there I want to finish my career there.

“I’m pleased not only for me, but for all my family. They’re chuffed to bits.”

Club chairman Chris Hamilton said Roughyeds were happy to give Fogerty the opportunity to pick up the pieces of his rugby league career.

He added: “We were bitterly disappointed when he failed a drugs test because we like to think we have high standards at the club. We also work hard to do our best for people who are involved here.

“Foggy will be the first to agree that the effort we put in behind the scenes to help him was more than most clubs would do, including those in Super League. The RFL have also supported him.

“As well as the drugs charge there were other things he needed to sort out as well.

“We have talked several times about what this comeback will mean: what must happen, and what must not happen. The sooner he can start to concentrate on his rugby again the better it will be for all concerned.”

The RFL’s disciplinary hearings, at which Roughyeds duo Jason Boults and Mark Brocklehurst will be accompanied by Hamilton, have been brought forward at short notice from Thursday until later today.

Detailed arrangements for Thursday had been made at this end and a clearly-frustrated Hamilton said he was “not best pleased” by the late switch.

A suspension would rule the players out of the Roughyeds’ fourth-round Carnegie Challenge Cup tie against Super League club Hull FC at the KC Stadium on Saturday (1pm kick off).

Tickets for the tie are on sale at the Roughyeds office in Lansdowne Road, Chadderton, open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, tel 0161 628 3677.