Minutes applause for Nigel

Date published: Tuesday, February 4, 2014
OLDHAM fans will be invited to show their respect for the late Nigel Marland, and their appreciation of all he did for the club, during a minute’s applause before the pre-season friendly against Swinton Lions at Whitebank on Sunday (3pm).
Just as he had requested a funeral service of ‘memories and laughter’, his preference at Whitebank was not for a minute’s silence, but for a minute’s applause.
The players, whom Nigel regarded as personal friends, wore black arm bands at Barrow,
Club chairman Chris Hamilton made a moving, but humorous, eulogy at the funeral service at Oldham Crematorium, as did Nigel’s niece Leanne and his lifelong friend and former teaching colleague Mike Russell.
Hundreds of people crammed into the crematorium, with every seat occupied and every inch of floor space down the aisles and at the back also taken up in an extraordinary turn-out for the former school teacher, Oldham rugby stalwart and well-known amateur actor, director and producer.
Roughyeds supporters wearing club colours, former colleagues and pupils from Hathershaw School and scores of friends from The Lyceum Theatre, with which he had a connection spanning nearly 50 years, laughed and cried during a service led by the Oldham RLFC chaplain, the Rev Tony Ford, which Nigel had meticulously planned himself in the days before his death in Wythenshawe Hospital.
Music on arrival was from Les Miserables, ‘Do you hear the people sing’ — and many people did sing as they filed into the crematorium.