Presidents Dinner

Date published: Friday, July 9, 2010

MORE than 100 Roughyeds supporters enjoyed themselves on Thursday night at a sell-out dinner at the Whitebank Stadium to mark the end of club chairman Christopher Hamilton’s year of office as president of the Rugby Football League.

The event doubled up as a celebration of Chris’s highly successful year at the RFL and as the first major social event to take place in the club’s new ground.

There was a wide cross-section of supporters present, ranging from individual fans to representatives of sponsors new and old, to the many stalwarts of the local rugby league scene which included ex-players such as Terry Hester, Gary Ainsworth, Glen Galbraith, Chris Deakin and many others.

As principal speaker, Chris Hamilton gave a fascinating insight into the launch of Oldham RLFC (1997) Ltd, following the demise of Oldham Bears, and the battles that had taken place over the last 13 years to keep the club afloat.

He also talked about his year of office as RFL president and the honour that reflected on the club.

“For Oldham RLFC to have had its first-ever president in 2009-10 is a tremendous endorsement of the club, its values and the people involved in it,” he said. “It is something the whole club should take great pride in.

“My year of office has seen the club make unbelievable strides and the fact that the club is now in its own ground — in Oldham — is the stuff that dreams — well, mine at least — are made of.

“On behalf of the club I would like to take this opportunity to thank all sponsors, staff, players, volunteers and supporters for their commitment during the inaugural season at Whitebank Stadium.”

The top table comprised Chris, his partner Gillian, head coach Tony Benson, centre Mick Fogerty (representing the players), master of ceremonies Ian Smith, comedian Bobby Bender and the club’s commercial manager Rachael Marsters.

Ian, the Super League referee, said he was privileged to be invited to MC the event, which celebrated Chris’s special year at the RFL.

An auction, raffle and stand-up bingo raised much-needed revenue for the club before Bobby Bender entertained everyone for half an hour or so with his inimitable brand of mixed-audience humour.