Oldham RL Heitage Trust ‘Art in Rugby’ exhibition

Date published: Friday, July 6, 2012

All fans are welcome to the official opening at 1pm Saturday the 14th July at Gallery Oldham when local MP Debbie Abrahams will cut the tape.


Art in Rugby is an exhibition celebrating the history of Oldham’s rugby league club by featuring a selection of the Trust’s fascinating collection of paintings, sculptures, and photographs. The exhibition opens at Gallery Oldham on Saturday 14th of July in tandem with the fabulous Oldham’s Sporting Heroes exhibition which is featured in the adjoining gallery. The MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, Debbie Abrahams, will proclaim both events open when she cuts the tape at 1pm.

The exhibition takes a tour through the club’s history and touches on both the triumphs and failures throughout the years. The exhibits will encompass the work from artists of local, national and international repute and reflects the game from its Victorian beginnings right up to the present day. From the grandeur of “The Roses Match” painted by academy artist W. B. Wollen in 1893 to a collection of watercolours depicting Oldham players through the ages by Stephen Bennett and historic moments in the club’s history from the brush of Lincolnshire artist Steve ‘Smiff’ Smith plus other works by local artists including Bob Littleford, Andy Pemberton, David Ford and former Waterhead RLFC player Kevin Haynes along with a collection of cartoons by Norman Taylor

Sculptures on display include works from the renowned McKenzie Thorpe and current Oldham player Liam Gilchrist! It all adds up to a feast of artistic diversity connected with the oval ball game.

This unique collection has been brought together by the Oldham Rugby League Heritage Trust, and is recognised as being a selection from one of the most important rugby club memorabilia collections in the world – both codes.

Art in Rugby is on display in the Community Gallery of Gallery Oldham and runs through to the 20th of October.  Gallery Oldham is situated on Greaves Street off Union St. OL1 1AL. The gallery is open Monday to Saturday and admission is free. For further information regarding Gallery Oldham visit http://www.galleryoldham.org.uk/ or for the Oldham Rugby League Heritage Trust
www.orl-heritagetrust.org.uk or ‘phone 01457 875084.