Roden to sign off as a winner

Date published: Thursday, February 19, 2015
NEIL Roden will wear an Oldham RL jersey for the 297th — and last — time in his testimonial game at Whitebank on Sunday, kick-off 1pm.
His final fling is guaranteed to be a winner because the popular half-back, a fans’ favourite over more than 12 seasons at the club, will play half a game for his Roughyeds’ Legends’ side and the other half for an Oldham Select X111.
“Either way, I can’t lose,” said 34-year-old Roden, who will bring the house down if he can extend his club record try haul of 113 by turning back the clock and scoring again on his last hurrah.
He added: “I owe a lot to the lads in both teams, with whom I share some fabulous memories, so I’ll split my time between the two, always providing the old legs will stand up to it.
“Fans will enjoy a fun afternoon and a light-hearted entrée to the new season, which starts in earnest seven days later.
“They will also have the opportunity to renew acquaintance and recall old times with the many players who have entertained them over the last dozen seasons or more.” 
After the game Roden plans to raffle off his old No 7 jersey, which he wore in his swansong season.
Among the latest ex-Oldham players to promise their support for ‘Rats’ on his big day are Ricky Bibey, Chris Clarke, Lee Doran, Mick Fogerty, Mark Brocklehurst and Oldham RU club’s Gareth Barber.
Martin Crompton, captain of the Oldham club in its Super League days, will be in charge of the Legends’ side before facing fans in a Q and A session in the social club after the game.
Scotland coach Steve McCormack, whose father Jim was a Watersheddings centre in the 1960s, will look after the Select X111.
Local man Ian Smith, ex-Super League referee and now a leading figure in the sport’s refereeing department, will be the man in the middle.
Legends (from): Marcus St Hilaire, Paul Reilly, Jason Clegg, Leo Casey, Sean Robinson, Lucas Onyango, Martin Roden, Ian Hodson, Anthony Gibbons, David Gibbons, Keith Brennan, Ian Sinfield, Andy Isherwood, Ricky Bibey, Chris Clarke, Lee Doran, Mick Fogerty.
Select X111 (from): Marlon Miller, Mark Brocklehurst, Gareth Barber, Ryan Staziker, Brad Roden, Matty Brookes, Matty Campbell, Chris Dootson, Rhys Wareing, Connor Partington, Aaron Hall, Lee Sanderson, Graham Hibbert, Dean Balmer, Adam Holland, Alan Campbell, Mark Cahill, Andy Ball.
Admission is £5 adults, £3 concessions and under-16s.