A day to remember

Date published: Friday, September 24, 2010

WIN or lose in Sunday’s Grand Final, Roughyeds are hoping supporters will help to make it a day to remember at the end of a record-breaking season and one which everyone agrees has surpassed all expectations.

To finish second in Co-operative Championship One, with 17 wins from 20 games, was the new club’s best-ever finish in 13 seasons of rugby league.

To go through an entire league campaign with a 100 per cent success rate on opponents’ grounds was an achievement never previously attained going right back to the early days of Oldham Rugby in the 1880s.

To run up 80 points against South Wales amateurs Blackwood in the Carnegie Challenge Cup was to produce yet another all-time club record for most points scored in a game.

To reach our fourth Grand Final in a row was another mighty effort which is unlikely to be matched in a hurry.

Most important of all, to secure, improve and establish Whitebank Stadium as our own home base in the borough was to write another wonderful piece of Oldham Rugby history . . . and all this happened in the season that the club will celebrate in style on Grand Final day.

Tony Benson has already gone on record, on this website and in the Oldham Chronicle, as saying that our Grand Final appearance is more than an achievement by the team — it’s an achievement by the whole club.

Describing the club as “something special” he says he has never experienced anything as good in rugby league, either in this country or in his native New Zealand.

He further says that supporters, sponsors, volunteers, staff and everyone else associated with the club have played a massive part in helping to push the team on to the big stage.

With the backing of the entire club, chairman Chris Hamilton and Tony are now urging fans to make a day of it on Sunday and to kick off with early arrival at Whitebank where the club will open at 11am. Bacon sandwiches will be on sale and it will be an ideal opportunity for fans to soak up the atmosphere, display their red and white favours, and eventually give the team a rousing send-off when they depart at 12.30.

“Tony and the boys would love to see an army of fans down at the ground to see them off,” said Chris. “We want the whole world to see that our supporters are proud of their club, proud of their team and proud of the boys who make up that team.

“The players have been inspired all season by the levels of their home-and-away support so let’s make it an early start at Whitebank and make it a day that surpasses anything we have seen before.”

Win or lose the team will be coming back to Whitebank after the game where they hope to be welcomed home by their fans in celebratory mood!

Beef and onion sandwiches will be the fare available for purchase in early evening and, whatever the outcome of the final, there will be a fantastic season to celebrate in our own clubhouse.

The final words come from Tony. “There is something quite different about the Roughyeds, something unique. It’s something I’ve never come across before in all my years in the game.

“I mean this sincerely. It’s not just small talk. You’ve only to look at what we’ve achieved this season from very humble beginnings. We’ve got to the Grand Final because everyone has bought into the spirit of the club — players, staff, sponsors, volunteers and supporters. We couldn’t have done it without that backing.

“We will be going to Warrington not as a team, but as a club. We are all in it together. We are Oldham Roughyeds and we have so much of which we can all be proud.”