Neil Roden testimonial plans

Date published: Thursday, January 16, 2014
OLDHAM RL stalwart Neil Roden plans a mixed bag of events during his testimonial year, starting with a quiz night at Whitebank on Saturday, February 1 (7.30pm for 8pm).
With the whole of 2014 at the disposal of his six-strong testimonial committee, he is looking at a sportsmen’s dinner (maybe two), a golf day, a tig-and-pass tournament at the amateur club that spawned his rugby league career (Wigan St Pat’s), a poker night and a benefit match.
Only the quiz night is firmed up so far, but the committee is beavering away to come up as soon as possible with dates and venues for the other fund-raisers.
Plans include a dinner at Whitebank and perhaps another one in Roden’s home town, Wigan.
Now 33, he first signed for the Roughyeds in 2000 when he was 19 — a clever footballer with good hands, a sharp rugby brain and a nifty turn of pace.
They were qualities that were to serve him well throughout an Oldham career in which he posted 113 tries in 296 cup and league games over a total of 12 seasons in two separate spells at the club.
Having retired as a player at the end of last season, he is now in his first coaching job as boss of the Roughyeds’ under-20s squad.
While creating Oldham RLFC (1997) Ltd club records for most games played and most tries scored, Roden played alongside numerous fans’ favourites over the years, several of whom he hopes to enlist for his Neil Roden’s X111 to take on the current side at Whitebank.
Neil’s squad would almost certainly include two members of his testimonial committee —- his cousin Martin Roden (ex-Roughyeds’ hooker, conditioner, assistant coach and coach) and his lifelong pal Martin McLoughlin, the prop who played for Oldham alongside Neil in 2003 and 2004 before they both left for Batley Bulldogs.
Phil Farrell, who moved from Wigan to Oldham with Neil nearly 14 years ago, and popular props from that era such as Leo Casey and Jason Clegg can also expect a call.
Said Neil: “In rugby terms we’re all old men now, but we’ll put on a bit of a show. If I can talk Leo and Cleggy into turning out, I reckon they alone would get the turnstiles clicking.”
Also on the testimonial committee are Neil’s dad Jack (chief scout for Wigan Warriors), Matt Threlfall, Neil’s boss at his full-time job in Wigan with OJT Communications) and Neil’s wife Tanya.
Entry to the quiz that kick-starts the year-long programme of events is £2 per person, pay on the door (maximum of six in a team).
There will be rounds on sport, general knowledge, music and Neil’s Oldham career, with raffle prizes and prizes for winners of the quiz.
More than 300 fans are already following testimonial developments on Twitter @ NRTestimonial.