What is Oldham Athletic to you?

This is a page for Oldham supporters/ Current or Former Players/ Staff or Journalists from all over the world to share their feelings on what Oldham Athletic means to them. It’s memories, funny stories, the highs and the lows. Tell us your story and it will be added just below! Send yours to info@pushtheboundary.co.uk

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What is Oldham Athletic to you? By Phil Taylor

I am a Middleton lad and whilst at school in Middleton the majority of the pupils were United and City with a fair few Leeds and Liverpool thrown in (reflecting the strength of those teams in the late 1960s). There was an Oldham Athletic fan in the school who I recall coming in clutching his Boundary Bulletin (orange programme not the newspaper) and Mr Ford was a Latics fan too. I had been to City with my best pal at school (Phil Wright RIP) and his dad but hadn’t settled on them as my team. My grandad took me to one side one day in late 1960s and said “I don’t know why you don’t support Oldham, they were good once”. He then produced an old Littlewoods Pools coupon from 1954 that proved OAFC had been in Division 2 and they were only languishing near the foot of Division 4 by accident. I was gullible and always believed my grandad…. I went to Boundary Park and fell in love with Latics even though the team was crap and it was bloody cold. My grandad told me of the 1920s and 1930s when he and others would walk from Rhodes in Middleton to watch Latics against Manchester United in the 2nd Division…. if they were good enough for him, they were good enough for me. My uncle and grandad both filled me with stories of the 1952/53 promotion winning side’s draw at Bradford City when 1000s of Oldhamers roared Latics leathering the ball out of play at every opportunity!!!

My first proper season watching was 1970/71 – a great time to be a Latics fan. The team played in tangerine and blue, Fryatt and Shaw scored 47 goals between them, we won every month of the Ford Sporting League and winning a new Stand!! We came 3rd behind Notts County and Bournemouth and were back in Division 1 after two years away. Football always seemed bright in those days, we scored lots, conceded a fair few and the crowds always seemed quite happy (long since gone). I started watching away from home regularly in 1972/73 and saw most of the away games in the North and Midlands in the 1973/74 promotion season. I loved that team….. Grovesey was my favourite but I loved them all….. I bought my first season ticket in 1974 in the Chaddy End and that was a memorable season too – Latics taking on big clubs like United, Sunderland, West Brom, Nottingham Forest – all teams who had been Division One regulars in the late 60s, indeed United had won the European Cup in 1968 and now we were taking them on and beating them 6 years later!!!

By the mid 1970s I was going to more away games with my mates than with my family and thereafter Latics took on a whole new meaning to me. I loved them dearly as a child but loved them even more as a young adult – I met loads of lads around my age and we shared the same passion (Latics) and grew up together in a much wider world than Middleton or indeed Oldham for those local to the club.
So many great people, sadly many of them have passed on now – Dutty, Col Shaw, Jimmy Kirton, Webby, Ste Smith, Pedro, Bob Pearson, Reg, Gippy, Kenny Jones, Doormouse (Ian Fleming), Chubb and others who all now watch Latics from the Heavens ….. and many others who have long since stopped attending. Fortunately there are still a fair few who still go regularly to games who I still see after all these years of watching Latics – Ian (not as regular as before), Rochey, Phil White, Ian Thorp, Eddy the mod, Big Tony Feeley, Kingy, Chippy, Dave Holt, Paul Whitehead, Bob Isaacs, Sully, CMoore, Jimmy and Dave Ragg….always lovely to see them all still well and “enjoying” their Latics.

Great memories of full seasons home and away every game, that never to be forgotten Pinch me season, and the promotion season the year after. Seeing Latics at Wembley against Forest – wonderful day seeing 30000+ wanting Latics to win!!!
I have seen Latics play on at least 150 grounds and done the 92 several times… 91 at the moment as Bury not in league at the moment.
All the wonderful players we have had – Grovesey, Ritchie, Palmer, Barratt, Jobson, Eyresey, Tarky, Stainrod, Steve Taylor, Halom, Wylde, Fryatt, Shaw……loved them all …..and the great players who were never blessed with great ability but fought for the shirt all the time and would run through a brick wall for you – Ronnie Blair, Cooksey, Duxbury, McDonagh….that meant so much to me and the Chaddy faithful.
Now I attend many games with my son Danny and his fiancée Kadie and we still have some great awaydays – can never forget Fulham last season and a great day out at Millwall several years ago and Orient a few years ago, best ever silly day out!!!
I tell you how much Latics mean to me – I was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer 9 years ago and my thoughts were “(1) how do I tell my lads and (2) if I die, I hope I die between May and August so I know where Latics ended up”.

I recall telling Phil White that at the time when he had cancer and his eyes welled up and he said he had felt the same about Latics!!!!
Its been a labour of love for me Latics, its my family team and has been for 80 years or so. I have met so many wonderful people and felt privileged to have shared in our best seasons ever – 1987 to 1994. I hate the way the club is being run now and hope that I get my Latics back one day soon…….OAFC till I die

What is Oldham Athletic to you? By Les Pogliacomi

Les Pogliacomi has told us about the 3 most memorable games he played in;

The first two games were in my first season at Oldham 2002/03 season. We beat West Ham at Upton Park 1-0 in November, they had a star studded line up – Carrick, James, Cole and Defoe!

The second was the last game of the season, when we were beat 1-0 at QPR in the second leg of the semi final playoff. I’d missed 7 weeks of training due to a badly damaged sciatic nerve. Iain Dowie said he wanted me to play no matter how unfit I was. I trained twice before that game then played on adrenaline. Both of those games, the Oldham supporters home and away were unbelievable, not for a second did they stop singing and chanting.

The third game was the 1-0 win at home in the FA cup against Man City in 2004. After the game all the supporters invaded the pitch to celebrate, I had never experienced that euphoria and joy from fans before.

These are the games which made me proud to play for the Latics.

Former Oldham Goalkeeper Les Pogliacomi 2002 – 2008

What is Oldham Athletic to you? By Pete Davis

I hold it entirely responsible for generating my passion for football in general and Latics in particular right from the time when my wonderful Dad took me to my first game, just a month or so before my 6th birthday in 1950. I loved it. I was hooked. I couldn’t believe how many people were there (I had to check recently; memory fades a bit after almost 70 years) There were over 19,000 there that day and I remember being distraught on the way home because my new found love had lost. Lost by the odd goal in nine.

And that was it. I couldn’t wait for the next game, I wanted a football and football boots for my birthday and Christmas. No replica shirt in those days, so anything blue and white became my football “kit”. I acquired new heroes; George Hardwick, Archie Whyte, Ray Haddington and others. But the ones I watched more closely than others in those early days were Fred Ogden and George Burnett. My mind was made up; I wanted to be a goalkeeper. Dad and I never missed a home game for years and, when I was about 7 or 8, he took me to my first away game. Not that it involved much travelling. It was at Rochdale. In truth, when I was writing this, I couldn’t remember whether we’d won, lost or drawn, so I had to refer to Stewart Beckett’s brilliant “Pine Villa and Oldham Athletic, A 100 Year Journey”. We lost 3-1.

There are so many memories from following Latics. Here are a few that stand out and I apologise if they have already appeared on OWTB.
Dad and I were stood in the Main Stand Paddock, Rochdale Road end. Latics had a little winger called Ronnie Fawley and he set off on a run down the wing. Dad yelled what would best be described as an attempt at encouragement, which went something like, “Go on Ro…” as his false teeth flew out and skittered down the terracing. The sight of my Dad chasing his false teeth before someone stepped on them is something I won’t forget,
I went to obscure grounds like Denaby United and South Shields in the Cup
I stood with a few thousand Liverpool fans in the RRE in 1962 and the craic was brilliant
My girlfriend’s wicker shopping basket once ended up on the pitch with the ball inside it. Why she had it with her and placed it on the dirt track over the Chaddy end wall, I’ll never know. Bob Ledger had a shot, missed the target and hit the basket, which bounced against the wall with the ball inside. Bob Ledger handed it back with a huge grin on his face
Boxing Day, 1962. That same girlfriend lived in Macclesfield and I travelled back from her house on a rattly old North Western bus into Manchester. Another bus hit us in the back near Piccadilly station, so I got off and ran to Stevenson Square to catch the 2 or 24 to the ground. I rang Dad from a phone box in Stevenson Square to see if he was meeting me at the ground. “Not bloody likely in this weather, son. Have you seen the depth of the snow? They’ll never play it”. I walked home to Royton and couldn’t wait to tell Dad we’d won 11-0.
I went to Stoke for a Cup match, deciding to go right on the last minute with my mate, Chris Billings. We had no lunch and it was bitter, freezing cold. Sub zero temperatures and an empty stomach is not a good mix. I passed out on the terraces and woke up in the St John’s treatment room. We lost 5-1 and I began to wish the coach had been fully booked and we hadn’t gone
In more recent times, my good mate, Mac, and I went to a match at Luton, but the car broke down about two miles from the ground and wouldn’t start. Sod the car, we thought, there’s a football match to get to. So we flagged down a taxi and worried about the car later. Bingo, it started and coughed and spluttered its way back home. God knows how it got us back
There are so many more memories of my years following my addiction and many players stand out; John Sheridan playing on one leg, David Eyres defying his age and playing long after others would have packed it in, Alan Groves playing to the crowd whilst giving some poor sod of a full back twisted blood, the emergence of Andy Goram developing from a slightly skinny 17 year old to become one of the best in the world, the song to the tune of Blaze Away when Jack Rowley was manager, the original Zigga Zagga boys, those distinctive “thirds” shirts that shouted Oldham Athletic, the brass band playing in the main stand at half time because the pitch resembled a ploughed field with God knows how many inches of water on it.

These, and many more are what Oldham Athletic meant to me. How sad that the club no longer has that appeal. It has gone downhill so rapidly that it’s hardly recognisable as it stumbles and lumbers from one apparent disaster to another. Although living 200 miles away, Mac and I would get to Boundary Park once or twice a season and our away games in various seasons (depending who were in the same division) were always Leyton Orient, Brentford, MK Dons (just once thank you very much), Charlton, Crewe, Port Vale, Swindon, Cheltenham, Bristol City, Bristol Rovers, Newport, Luton, Wimbledon, Coventry, Peterborough, Portsmouth, Shrewsbury, Oxford, Gillingham, Colchester, Crawley, Stevenage, Northampton, Mansfield, Plymouth, Forest Green, Exeter.

Granted, a fair number of those teams are not in League 2 right now, but we’ve done Forest Green, Newport and Swindon this season and that’s it. I have little or no interest to travel to any of the others. The brothers Lemsagam and a certain ex policeman have killed my love for the club. It’s like being dumped by your long term girlfriend after you’ve had such a fantastic time together. The memories will always be there; no one can take them away, but thanks a lot to those three for taking away from me something I never. ever, thought I would lose. It’s a mixture of anger and sadness that the club I have loved for so long is now a laughing stock. I’m almost ashamed to admit how much a part of my life OAFC has been.

What is Oldham Athletic to you? By Alice Brown

Oldham Athletic means to me another home away from my family. Back in 2010 when I just turned six my granddad took me to my first game which was against Blackpool when we beat them 2-1 at home. Ever since then I have been going to home games and recently started going to away games about three years ago.

My favourite memory of being an Oldham fan is me being mascot for the club on 5th April 2016 when we played Swindon at home when we won 2-0.

My biggest win I have ever been to is 5-4 against Peterborough United at boundary park in 2014 when came from 3-0 down to 5-4 in the last minutes of the game. But the Oldham fan base are like one big family we join together and we want our club back to how it was. So please Abdallah sort the debts out and stop us from going into administration on Friday. I notice every season recently we lose more and more Oldham fans at boundary park every season. I have been a season ticket holder for near on 9 years now.

What is Oldham Athletic to you? By Robbie Simpson

During the 2012-2013 season the Oldham Team went on an amazing run (Forest, Liverpool and Everton) in the FA cup which saved our season really. We were struggling in the league and there was some changes in the management team. So the fans especially needed something positive for the season. And of course for players it’s always amazing to play against the very top players and test yourself. It’s a cup run that we all will never forget ☺

Out of the three big games the one which really stood out Is a tough one to choose between the Forest and Liverpool game for me but being pushed I’d have to say the Liverpool game. They pretty much played a full strength team and Suarez and Sturridge had been on fire that season. We also lost to them the previous year at Anfield so wanted our revenge. We set the tone from the first minute with some strong tackles and aggressive play. We were at them from the off and we managed to maintain it for the whole game. Matt Smiths first goals and Reece with the 3rd typified the determination to win we had that day. These scenes with the fans running on the pitch afterwards was special. 🙌🏼

Scoring first at Anfield, what was it like?

Simply put, the best moment of my career. I’d been struggling to get out of my deal with Huddersfield and come back to Oldham. It went through just in time for Anfield, so when I scored it the best feeling ever!! I know it was short lived but no one can ever take those 30 seconds or so away from me 😂.

The support whilst I was at the club especially during the cup run was amazing! After the Anfield game they made a song for me and all throughout my time at Oldham I’d like to think to had a really good relationship with them. I think every player who has played for Oldham then and since then know that they deserve better. I look back on my time and the fans at Oldham really fondly. They gave me a really nice reception when I returned with MK Dons last season and I thank them for that. I really hope that they can experience good times again soon. 💙

Former Oldham Forward Robbie Simpson 2011-2013

What is Oldham Athletic to you? By Earl Barrett

“My first time playing for the Latics gave me a new motivation in football. I fed off the way the fans cheered me on and I continuously wanted to pay them back for their amazing support. This is how it started and this is how it continued in my 4+ years at the Latics…wonderful times with great fans a great Manager, back room staff, players and club staff!”

Former Oldham Defender Earl Barrett 1987-1992

What is Oldham Athletic to you? By Si Collins

I’m 45 years old and have been going since the age of 3, my grandad used to take me(who went for 60 years). I now take my 2 sons.
This poem from an old book that I have always brings back great memories and fondness of our great club.

A biting wind whistled around the vast, black emptiness of Boundary Park. No moon, no stars, no rain…just a desolate moon rushing eerily in every nook and cranny. Somewhere a door flapped aimlessly open and shut. The goalposts stood stark and cold…..
As I stood silent and alone , there seemed to come from the caverns of the Chadderton end, a jumble of noises born of the wind itself. I listened intently as familiar sounds filled the air. As they did, so vague shapes appeared in pools of brilliant light. There was Holden, with a delicate chip into the crowded goal mouth, as the massed voices roared their approval, Redfearns cracking shot blistering the paintwork, Barratt’s magnificent tackles, and then there, Ritchie with a flashing header, arms aloft to the delirious rapture of the crowd. To the cocky chant of ‘Zigga zagga’ man after man combined to astound the struggling opposition… over with the centre…. Marshall running in… “hit it, lad”…!
As suddenly as they had come the apparitions dissolved, the wind howled unceasingly in the inky blackness, and the glories of the 1990’s had fled……for ever ….

What is Oldham Athletic to you? By Lee Godfrey

I suppose I was always going to be a Latics supporter, as from the aged of about six I was introduced to Boundary Park by my Dad and Grandad ( 50 years ago ) and was at the time the next generation in the family.
My memories are many from a young age trying to sit comfortably on the small barrier wall behind the advertising boards in the Chaddy End, being told off by the stewards and police for putting my feet over the barrier. This was whilst trying not to get my head knocked off by shots missing the goal, I don’t think Health and Safety was thought to be priority back in the seventies. The eruption at kick off from the Chaddy End fans sometimes being accompanied by rival fans in the same stand with the police line in between.

Through the 80s and into the 90s with the Joe Royle team that put Oldham on the footballing map, wearing my shirt on holiday abroad during the 1990 World Cup games in the bars and pubs with pride alongside fans from bigger clubs.
I have continued to support Latics ever since and slowly seen the demise of the club to its current status and have now swapped roles and become the current middle generation between my Dad and Son who is now the current youngest generation.
I want to share a poem that was printed in the Latics programme on the 2nd March 1990 game against Bournemouth ( Oldham won 4 – 0 ) by my Grandad with his memories and what being a Latics fan meant to him;

“ Ive followed the Latics through thick and thin
As far back as the days of Sammy Wynne
I used to watch them when I was a lad
With my big brother and of course my dad “

“ There were big crowds then, but never much bother
You could have even taken your old grandmother
I’ve seen forty seven thousand down at the ground
When we played Sheffield Wednesday in the fourth round “

“As I got older I stuck to my guns
And still followed their fortunes and took my own sons
There was the great George Hardwick and this promotion team
They did well for a time, but division one was a dream “

“ Then Ken Bates with some finance came on the scene
There were lots of ideas and we went tangerine
We had our ups and downs but it seemed to me
That First Division status was not meant to be “

“ Time marches on and I’ve now moved away
But I still follow their fortunes each Saturday
And I’ve now had a phone call and It’s made me feel trembly
My Son and Grandson are taking me to Wembley “
“ It’s now my eightieth year and it’s been a long time to wait
But just to see the Latics there will be really great
I’ve got another wish and I hope it’s not too long
Before I see them in Division One where they belong “

Leslie Godfrey
1911 – 1992

What is Oldham Athletic to you? By Matt Chambers

There were plenty of special memories made as one of only a handful of journalists who can say they had the privilege of covering Oldham Athletic for the Oldham Evening Chronicle.

The Baxter and Simpson show at Nottingham Forest away, the cursing press box after Dean Bouzanis star-jumped to assist a late equaliser and force rewrites galore the same year against Everton and the madcap scenes as Peter Clarke struck to cause a pitch invasion at Chesterfield were but a few of mine. There were also numerous bollockings and adverse reactions to reports. All of which came from the right place of caring massively for a football institution.

The real appeal of the club was always the hardcore support (what else is left?) and how there were fans firmly on the inside of the club. Real people who were all committed to doing everything they could to try to assist progress, from stadium maintenance to the media office right through to management, despite severe financial constraints.

Boundary Park is a special place. The home of Johnstone, Groves, Holden, Ritchie, Palmer, Sheridan and Gregan. Cult heroes for a club that as a 10-year-old growing up across the Pennines with no connection to Oldham absorbed and inspired me back in 1990 and ever since.

Languishing hopeless and directionless in the doldrums of League Two is not a fate fitting for Oldham Athletic. Never let anyone manage expectations otherwise.

Matt Chambers, former Latics reporter for the Oldham Chronicle

What is Oldham Athletic to you? By Paul Devall

My Father Claude Devall was involved with the Supporters Club in the late 1950’s. As we lived in Laburnum Avenue it was a short walk past Fernhurst Mill to the ground.

I went often when I was 4yo and as a 5yo and upwards I stood behind the goal with my Aunt Linda and her friend Anne. My mum was a nurse and at halftime I could go to the back of the open stand and wave to her as she lean out of the window from the maternity unit.

In the summers my dad and his friends John Hartshorn and Vinnie used to volunteer to paint the stands and the changing rooms. The club didn’t have a pot to piss in!

I went to every home game until November 1965 when we moved South. I’ve continued attending during the years visiting my Gran in Oldham I went to home games until she passed in 1985.

With no relatives left in Oldham my visits for home games have been more limited. I still make one or two home games as and when I can get up to Oldham.

Most of my games now are those in the South and East. Exotic places like Gillingham, Southend, Colchester, Crawley, Orient, Wimbledon……

I have seen the desperate days of finishing in the bottom few of Division 4 to the highs of the Premier League and the cup runs and the 1990/94 semi-finals against the Rags..

What is Oldham Athletic to you? By Paul Maguire

The first game I ever went to at Boundary Park was on 16 April 1965, Division 3, v QPR. I was 7 years old. We won 5-3 and that was it, I was hooked. That morning my Dad, a lifelong RL fan of St Helens where he was born, said I was ready for my first professional sports match, and the choice was St Helens or Oldham. Man.Utd were also at home that day but he loathed them (he had a trial there when demobbed after the war but they turned him down!) and City were away, or I suppose I might have become a City fan.

In the next few years I went to the odd game at Old Trafford with my United-supporting older brother. Of course they had a much better ground, huge crowds, Best, Law, Charlton, but none of that mattered. They weren’t my team. There’ve only been a few years/games of wonderful memories with Latics in the 55 years that I’ve been supporting us, but they will always be my team. Some of the memories are so long ago now, but still razor sharp. I remember going to the FA Cup 3rd round home tie v Wolves, Jan 1967, with my Dad and a couple of his mates (all dead now, sadly). We walked into Middleton town centre to get the bus to the ground because we wanted seats as we knew the crowd would be big (just under 25,000). We were 2-0 up and as good as through, but Wolves scored twice in injury time and beat us in the replay (what is it about us conceding late goals!). I hardly missed a home game during the glory years under Frizzell in the 70s, until going away to university in 1977. Then the great days with Joe Royle in the late 80s/early 90s. By then I was working in London but we were everyone’s second team and there were a lot of Oldham fans in the City of London, where I worked.

I really hope we can escape the current ownership regime and finally find genuine, sensible owners to take the club forward again. It’s long overdue.

What is Oldham Athletic to you? By David Holt

Being brought up off Burnley Lane , BP was only 400 yards away. Started season 1967/68 (aged 6 years) going with my Dad at 3/4 time to get in free for the last 25 minutes.
First full season , vivid memories of losing to South Shield in FA Cup in 1969. When we moved to Sheffield in 1973 my love for the club grew by absence.

From 1976 onwards used to go back every weekend for home and away games. The away days were particular enjoyable going on Barlows with Dutty (Paul Dutson – RIP) , Ian Coop & Phil Taylor (Danny’s dad). Between us the more difficult and obscure the trip the better, it was like a badge of honour to be there.

Greenock Morton (away) night match in the Anglo Scottish cup Quarter final 1978 (probably less than 25 latics fans there)
St Mirren (away) night match in the Semi final (celebrating in their social club with the players after a penalty shoot out win).
Millwall (away) 1977/78 at the Old Den (scary,scary place).

At this time the the football and social side were just as enjoyable as the team slowly climbed up the Football League pyramid. Having 2 managers in 25 years , we were an example of what stability can achieve.

Sadly the the pivotal moment in the clubs decline came with the Mark Hughes equaliser at Wembey. For fans under 30 years old you have my respect for choosing to support this ailing club , apart from the odd cup upset you have had nowt to cheer.

Throughout out the Corney years the football side became less and less enjoyable and I was relieved when he departed. Despite my original suspicions about the motives of the new owners I was prepared to give them a chance. Could it be that MY OLDHAM were finally back ?

Sadly the answer is NO. It was rammed home, when I was watching online the fans forum at Royton Cricket Cricket last year. As the car crash evolved the sheer incompetence and arrogance of the current Board has left me with the conclusion that the football side is in serious trouble and the trap door to the National League is looming.

The social side of following Latics is now the best part and the most enjoyable. I will continue the mantra of a dearly departed Latics fan Gippy (David Gipson – RIP) , whenever I met him at away games his opening comment was “Win or lose we’ll have a booze , and if we draw we’ll have some more”

What is Oldham Athletic to you? By Peter Godfrey

In the knowledge of giving an indication of my advancing years I have been a supporter of the Latics for over 70 years weaned on my Fathers enthusiasm. I was born and schooled in Oldham but despite living in Cheshire since the seventies I’m still a season ticket holder along with my Son and Grandson.

My earliest memories were attending matches in the 1950’s with my Father either in the Chaddy End or the Rochdale Rd End. I seem to remember that at half time we would like many others (including away supporters)change ends to enable us to be behind the opposing goal for a better view of our then attacking forwards. There was a friendly crossover of home and away supporters behind the old Lookers Stand.

One of my most memorable matches in those days was the visit of Newcastle United in 1950 (Oldham Boroughs Centenary year).Although losing 2-7 in this 3rd round cup tie with an attendance of over 41000 we had to begrudging admire Jackie Milburns hat trick and Tommy Walker’s(later to move to Oldham)brace.

Other earlier memories of goal action were Eric Gemmells 7goals in a 11-2 win overChester 1952 Bert Listers 6 against Southport on Boxing Day 1962 in an 11-0 win and later Frankie Bunns 6 against Scarborough in 1989.

I have great memories of great entertaining players Bobby Johnston who always looked anything like match fitness but what a player. Ray Haddington whose powerful free kick would either hit the corner flag or the back of the net.

One additional treat in those days was reading the Green Final printed not long after the Saturday match with full coverage of the game on the front cover.
One negative thing I remember was my schoolboy contribution of a 5 shillings postal order to help the public appeal to raise I think £25000 for the transfer of Wilf Mannion The deal fell through but I never had my 2weeks pocket money returned. A.L please note.

Later memories of players I really enjoyed watching in our more successful years include Alan Groves,Gunner Halle, Roger Palmer ,Dennis Irwin ,Andy Ritchie and you’ll know the rest.
Magical years under Joe Royle including witnessing Neil Redfearns promotion penalty. St Valentines massacre v West Ham and personally two trips to Wembley

I’m suffering now by comparison as what the club was. 60 miles round trip but I can’t keep away from home games and some away fixtures but the being ‘fully involved ‘feelings have evaporated.

The club is now weak in communication and regretfully supporter care. North Stand closed . George Hill Stand outdated and shabby with ad hoc catering
Yet the faithful still suffer As someone said it must be in the DNA.

What is Oldham Athletic to you? By Steve Nicholls

Just some memories from my first introduction to the love of our lives!

1.First allowed to go on my own in season 60-61.Played the mighty Posh in their first season in the league I think.Great game and nearly 28k in attendance!

2.Season 61-62 played Liverpool in 4th round of FA cup,us in D4,them running away with L2. We score first, ruled out for offside which was dubious, they go down the other end and score through St.John I think, looked miles off side. Nothing changes does it. I was in RRE with my dad with thousands of Liverpool fans. Crowd just short of 42k. RRE and Chaddy were much bigger terraces then. No trouble, great match but went home disappointed.

How I wish we could re-run these times.With this lot in charge it would take a miracle!

What is Oldham Athletic to you? By Graham Howarth

What does OAFC mean to me?
I went to my first game using free tokens from the chronicle in the 1985/6 season, I was 14 and convinced my mum to let me travel from Shaw on my own to the game. I had no father on the scene to do dad stuff with but somehow I grew up football daft, I always fancied Liverpool back then until that one fateful night in 1985, from then I was hooked!
I was a Chaddy ender, top right hand corner so I could stand my younger brother on the ledge between the wall and the corrugated sheeting, that was our spot. 
I used to bore my mum to tears as I would talk her through the full 90 of the game we had just witnessed, poor woman, hates football!
I remember in 1990 going to the Southampton away game in the League cup and being one of the lucky ones to actually get in to the cattle pen that they housed us in, my mum insisted I went to college the next day after getting home at 4am, I did go to college as promised but I slept all day in the changing room!
I joined the RAF in 1991, but took OAFC with me wherever I went, Falklands, Cyprus, Belgium, Scotland, I was always wearing my Latics shirts. Whenever I came home I always tied it in with a game or two, I even tried to bring my 3 boys up as Oldham fans, it only worked with one, but he’s mad for it.
We are now settled in Buckinghamshire and always try to get to the many away games based close to where we are when I’m not working.
When I come home I would always visit the club even if there was no home game! 
Something inside me has died this season and I’m struggling to find the spark to reignite it, and that bothers me.
I missed the FA cup tie with Burton despite being in Oldham, I couldn’t do it, and that is something I’ve never done, I even managed to slip out to a game a few years back when my nan was ill and in the hospital! (Wrong on many levels but so right).
I hope that we can get back to having a club that we can be proud of, no matter where we go, the best thing about being Oldham no matter how poor the product is on the pitch, is how good and barking mad our support is!
Graham Howarth
Head Chef to the Prime Minister-Chequers Estate, Buckinghamshire.

What is Oldham Athletic to you? By Keith P

The smell of hot bovril wafting in the breeze, old men in flat caps and big coats. Bouncing on the boards at the back of the Chaddy with the big boys. “We play in blue and tangerine” “zigga zagga who’s your father” we sing. Walking down Sheepfoot Lane for your first night match. Alan Groves, Ian wood, Colin Garwood a 6-0 win and were going up. The goal that never was.
Anfield in the cup.
Till we play bastard rovers
Wankey Wanderers
Wednesday riots
Who are Leeds
Keith bloody Edward’s.
pinch me Arsenal Everton Villa Man U
Valentines massacre
Wembley
Maine Rd so near …..heaven boundary park is my church the Chaddy End my pulpit.

Oldham till I die

What is Oldham Athletic to you? By Carl Medlock

To be Sang to the Tune of “The Wild Rover”

I`ve been a Latics supporter for many a year
And I`ve spent all my money on football and beer
I`ve been down to Portsmouth and Stoke on the Trent
And because of the football, my money is spent

And it’s no nay never
No nay never no more
Till we play Blackburn Rovers
No never no more

The King Power, the Amex – they’re just fancy names
It’s our Boundary Park that’s the true home of the game
We’ve had “ooh Roger Palmer” and Andy “the stitch”
And we once beat the Arsenal on our green plastic pitch

Repeat chorus

My marriage is in tatters, my life’s in disarray
Cos I follow my Oldham, at home and away
God bless Alan Groves – the finest winger in the sky
I`ll follow the Oldham until the day that I die

Repeat chorus

It’s the year 2020; things look bleak and black
We desperately want our proud football club back
The stands are near empty; many fans stay away
I fear for my Latics and I just hope and I pray

And it’s no nay never
No nay never no more
Till we play Blackburn Rovers
No never no more

What is Oldham Athletic to you? By Paul Bradley

This was 85 86 season, my dad was going take me to watch Man Utd v Sheff Wed but was ill that morning luckily the week after Man Utd was away so my dad said I will take you to Latics and see if you enjoy it.

Latics v Sunderland 1986 2 – 2 and highlight being Andy Gorman in goal and he punched Dave Bennett in the belly. Mark Ward, Ron Futcher, Gary Hoolickin and Mick Quinn all played it was freezing cold and left before the end but that was that hooked, season ticket for 10 years then played myself so could only do midweek. Live in Wolves now since 2007 did used to travel up most Saturdays but unfortunately my love has died a bit plus my young lads a wolves fan did try and convert him he’s been to a lot a games especially away at Walsall, Shrewsbury, Crewe, Port Vale and Coventry but we are no competition now for Wolves especially these last few years they have everything right on and off the pitch and the match day experience there is just worlds apart from Latics. Hairs stand on the back of your neck when they roar. Used to get that with Latics with mouldy old dough and fanfare for the common people. I’m Oldham till I die but fear the worst. My dads 68 now and said the other day he wont see it good again in his time he still goes every now and then but he doesn’t enjoy it any more.

Hopefully I can win a major euro lottery one day and kick the club on we should be at least bottom end of the championship as given well under achieved since Corney had control and we are just going worse.

What is Oldham Athletic to you? By Billy Scanlan

My grandfather died before I was born. His name was Billy Scanlan. So is mine.

He was from Oldham. Greenacres Road. His father is buried in Greenacres cemetery. That side of my family worked in the cotton mills. I’ve got their death certs – our heritage in Oldham is clear.

My dad – Billy Scanlan’s son – was born and raised in Derby where Billy had a newsagents shop that they lived over.

Billy left Oldham – but the pride in the family history remained, and was strong.

My father – Tony Scanlan – moved to Galway in the west of Ireland after meeting and marrying my mother.

And when all the kids I grew up with supported Liverpool or Manchester United, I supported Oldham Athletic like my dad, and my dad’s dad.

And I was proud to.

Proud to support a club I had a connection to (I also support Galway United). Proud to be a club I could relate to. Proud to count myself among relatives of people related to the men and women my grandfather would have known, worked with – whose joys and sorrows he would have shared through community.

My first Latics match was with my dad, a 3-3 draw with Coventry in the Premiership.

It was one of the best days of my life. Maybe it was the best. It was certainly the greatest day I had with my dad.

I have two sons. Both were born after my dad passed away so they never met him.

My oldest is six – his first match was the loss to Colchester United. He saw upset fans, empty stands, frustration and angst. But he still loved it. He knew the place and the people were a connection to a grandfather he’ll never meet but loves. He understands pride.

My youngest is two – he hasn’t made the trip from Galway to Oldham yet. I’m not sure if there will be an Oldham Athletic for him to see once he’s ready for it. It’s something I know he would take pride in too.

Maybe in a few years time I can bring my boys to Boundary Park and it will have its spirit back. We don’t care about being in the Premier League or even the Championship but we believe in being competitive, in being real, in being about football, in being fun, in being connected.

Oldham Athletic is important to me and my family beyond words. It’s part of our DNA.

We don’t have faith any more – but we can’t let go of hope.

What is Oldham Athletic to you? By Anon

Blue

I remember the first time,
I watched them play
Like it was yesterday,
A 3-0 win against Bolton
It was after the game that I knew,
That I was a blue

A pre-season friendly in 2010,
Tom Eaves with the hat-trick,
I’m not taking the mick!
I was buoyant, impressed,
It relieved all the stress
If I was not a blue,
I don’t know what I’d do

Little did I know that after that day,
I would only end up suffering,
So much dismay,
Thrashings, disappointments, you know the score
I wouldn’t change it for anything,
Despite it being so poor

The days I hold dearest,
Fulham, Everton, Liverpool, Forest
Make it all worthwhile
Cherished memories, sure
But they’re quickly forgotten
Whilst we’re so awful

10 years of failure,
No promotion, Chesterfield, and then relegation,
The constant threat of,
Administration
But despite all that I remain a blue
I’d never consider supporting Man U!

What is Oldham Athletic to you? By Richard Dean

I became a lifelong fan after following the club during my teenage years. I remember 7-0 against Scarborough, 6-0 Valentine’s Day v West Ham, cup semis, cup finals, away days and friends made on the terraces. I have been with my grandad and now my dad and son with nephews. Oldham Athletic is more than just football, it’s a community of people from all walks of life who enjoy the release from day to day life. Families come together with different generations joining together for the weekly match. At the moment the club is dismantling the community however this will be temporary until they either leave or improve their actions. The fans will always be there and will return when the club is run well.

What is Oldham Athletic to you? By Chris Howarth

I fell in love with Latics on a cold Saturday afternoon in 2008. My dad a life long fan took me an FA Cup first round tie away at
Kettering. We won and proceeded to beat Kings Lynn in round two where we drew Premier League Everton in round 3 at Goodison Park. Can still feel the stands shaking as McDonald smashed that volley in. Never looked back. Been fortunate enough to see so many high times but been through plenty of lows. Can not thank my dad enough for showing me the gift of Oldham. A team I’ll love throughout my life, so much so my half sleeve is devoted to the club.

We all love Oldham. From the town, to the club. The fans are a united bunch and especially PTB.

What is Oldham Athletic to you? By Martin Godfrey

I remember vividly a home match against Liverpool in the F.A. Cup 4th Round 1962. Huge crowd, over 40,000 spectators. Stood with my late father against steel tube barriers at the Chaddy End. Surge of the crowd moved us down several steps but came back only 2steps with barrier completely bent over. Several people hurt elsewhere, but what an atmosphere. Lost 2- 1 but always remember the excitement of that days match
Martin Godfrey, Runaway Bay, Australia

What is Oldham Athletic to you? By Rob Charles

I wrote for the programme for a brief period under big Gordy’s tenure – the following was my introductory article from almost 5 years ago – it’s still as relevant now as to what the club meant to me so it breaks my heart to see what these clowns are doing to our club…keep at it lads #ReclaimTheFaith

Most people can remember their first game…sadly I can’t remember the first 50 or so. My mum and aunty worked on the pie stand in the Rochdale Road End and my dad used to bring my older brother to games so from being 3 years old I was just brought along. Apparently I used to get bored easily so my dad would send me down to the front of the Paddock collecting dead matches and other “interesting stuff”. Every now and then I’d take my treasure to show them and they sent me to collect some more!

My earliest footballing memories are a bit hazy, I remember Alan Groves hair and the necklace he used to wear. I remember Carl Valentine running down the wing with his sleeves pulled over his hands. It’s a few years later I remember specific games, like the first time me and my brother were allowed to go to a night game on our own, we beat Norwich 2-1, with a screamer from Darren McDonagh who then became my first real hero (although pictures of me playing football as a kid showed me with a necklace like Alan Groves and sleeves pulled firmly over my hands a la Valentine!).
Darren was a proper hard man footballer, centre mid that took no nonsense, I’m sure I remember him getting sent off for punching someone in front of the ref in our penalty area which just added to his legend status for me as a teenage lad!

Over the last 40 years I’ve stayed loyal to Latics even though we moved to Sheffield when I was 11 and we’ve stayed in the area ever since. Nowadays I go to games with my lad who’s currently 15 and loves Latics as much as I do, even though he has lived in North Derbyshire, on the outskirts of Sheffield all his life, growing up around Wednesday and United fans, just as I did all those years ago.
Back then though I had a team to be proud of, I was at both Leeds play off games as we were done by a last minute Keith Edwards goal, saw Big Joe build that team of players rejected from other clubs to become the greatest Oldham team that I guess I’ll see in my lifetime. I remember when we beat Arsenal 3-1 in the Littlewoods cup and knew then we were into something special.
The Premier League years coincided with me passing my driving test and I spent every weekend driving all over the country as the adventure lasted 3 years.
Since then there’s been many lows, but the highlight for me has been indoctrinating Dom into the Latics way of life. You see cliched as it maybe, Oldham Athletic is my religion and it’s important he grew up to understand that…I remember his first game not that he does.
It was Barnsley away and he was only 3 years old just like I was all those years before, only modern seating plans and cigarette lighters meant he wasn’t able to enjoy the same treasure hunt that I used to. Instead he had to satisfy himself with a bag of sweets and banging his seat rather than sitting on it. We lost 4 or 5 nil, walking out of the ground in my arms he was excited to see a line of police horses, “horses” he shouted and I remarked that there was some piggies on the horses! As we walked in the house my wife asked him how he’d enjoyed the football to which he replied “I saw piggies on horses” that took some explaining, she threatened to ban him from coming until I knew how to behave!
We’ve had some top away days over the years and he’s learned that what happens at football stays at football. Like the time at Peterborough when the ref gave 2 ridiculous penalty decisions against Greg Fleming our keeper at the time. As he watched me climbing the fence and being pushed back by stewards he asked my friend what daddy was doing. My mate just looked at his little face and explained, daddy is just going to have a word with the referee.
We were there at all the cup games, saw Gary Mc scream one in at Everton, appeared briefly on the box during the Liverpool game. The most memorable games are the ones like Forest away in the cup, what an atmosphere as Jose smashed that free kick in! Before the game we walked to the ground with a hundred of Oldham’s finest lads, I think Hooters must have made enough money that day to shut down for the rest of the week.
We’ve been amongst 3500 Latics fans at Rochdale and 200 at Tuesday night away games like Southend and Colchester last season. We see the same faces every week, I’m not the most sociable bloke so a nod and “alreyt” is about as far as I go with most but these lads, lasses, kids, yoof, we’re all part of the same family, we all sing our hearts out for the lads.
I’ve been lucky enough to go to 70+ grounds in England, to see Champions League semi finals, international games, watch games in stadiums like the San Siro but there’s only that buzz, that feeling of belonging and that sense of anticipation when watching my beloved Oldham Athletic!

What is Oldham Athletic to you? By Andrew Gardner

I thought I should take the opportunity and share what Oldham Athletic means to me.

My first memories of football were always watching Liverpool, via TV highlights or the occasional live game, in the 80’s. I am Oldham born to a Scouse mother and an Oldham dad obviously being young and Liverpool being great and influenced by my mother, I supported them (Never having been to a game of course!). My Father was the only Oldham fan in the family and at the age of about 8 or 9 I attended my first of many games – free tickets from a reserve player via my farther. The reserve games I attended got me interested and secretly I started to follow Oldham (there weren’t many in my class at school!) Then came my first, first team home game I don’t remember too much except the fact I was in the Chaddy End with my father and grandfather and standing of course with the occasional sway of the crowd moving you several feet from where you started.
I was now hooked on Oldham and what came next over the next few years was just momentous. Cup runs, my first Wembley visit at 13yrs old a cup final v Forrest one of the best days of my life even though we lost. Then the promotion to the first division any feeling I may have had for Liverpool had evaporated and I was of course from this point on a regular attender at Boundary park working odd jobs to pay for tickets and even working for Latics selling lottery numbers in order to get free tickets, as I didn’t have much money being at school then college. I have attended every season since the glory days despite the latest depths of depression and uncertainty towards the team and my club. There have been many lows during my 30+ years but this has been interspersed with a few amazing memories including beating Man U, Liverpool and Everton in the cups, Forest Away, that was a good feeling especially after the Wembley defeat and let’s not forget more recently, Fulham…wow! As much as I feel like leaving it at times these days Oldham is my team and always will be. You cannot beat a big following to away games, the characters, banter and yes even the flares (I cannot condone this however) we have had some fantastic players, great fans and a real family feel to the club. I now attend with my own son who is 14 and I do feel for him and others Fans that have not experienced the best of Latics, I’d seen my team in a cup final by his age! I do hope that one day we will be competitive again in the higher divisions and fans will be rewarded for sticking by them. I think we as fans are due some good fortune!

What is Oldham Athletic to you? By Jim Booth

Oldham to me is memories of standing at the back in the disabled section with my grandad and great uncle, both now passed. I started going with mates a couple of years later and it always gave me something to look forward to on a weekend. I haven’t looked forward to it the last couple of seasons culminating in giving up after Crewe at home when the North stand issue started, there’s no joy about the place and it’s just not fun. I’ll be back when the pathetic games stop, regardless of results or who we sign in the summer.

What is Oldham Athletic to you? By Martin Jankowskyj

Born in the hospital across the road, my club was in my veins from day one. To me it’s the first cold game against Middlesbrough in our promotion season at home with a win, it’s the artificial pitch, it’s the pie at half time, it’s standing with my dad as a kid freezing cold, it’s going mad in the Chaddy End, it’s Andy Ritchie, it’s Joe Royle, it’s the whole town getting behind them, it’s the being a founder member of the premiership, it’s the incredible highs, it’s telling my dad we are going to beat Manchester United with a minute left at Wembley, it’s Mark Hughes ruining my childhood, it’s the incredible lows, it’s the growing up being proud of telling people who you support, it’s FA Cup giant killing, it’s still going with my dad after 30 years, it’s the feeling of elation/dread when my phone vibrates to tell me there has been a goal, it’s 90th minute late goals, it’s meat pie sausage roll, and it’s my club.

Actually it’s our club, the fans, Oldham as a town. It doesn’t matter who the custodian is running it, let them never forget that it’s ours, not theirs. 125 years old and in a sorry state at the moment. A change is needed. My love will never stop for the club but, it will take a lot for me to return.

What is Oldham Athletic to you? By Roger Winter

I was born and bought up in Birmingham watching the blues in the late 70s early 80s when the atmosphere in grounds was often ugly. My last blues game was 11th May 1985 (the day of the Bradford fire) it was a game against Leeds, there was a pitch invasion, a wall collapsed and a young boy was killed. I fell out of love with the game.

In 1992 I was applying for teaching jobs across the north west and my dad said if I got a job in Oldham he would buy me a season ticket. I did, and he did! He bought himself one too and proceeded to come to almost every game home and away (from Birmingham) with me for the next 3 years. ( This may have been the end of his marriage!) However it gave me a chance to build a relationship with him that was very precious to me. He died 12 years ago. The memories from that period bring tears to my eyes, watching Ricky, Andy and Roger among others.

My first Latics game was on 15 August 1992 v Chelsea. That made me the ultimate glory hunter, but I knew in my heart the minute I entered the ground I was home. It just felt right. The atmosphere, the team, the fans, the community- magnificent . I loved (and still love) the club.

The Latics had embedded itself self in my DNA.

I lived and worked in Oldham for 10 years before moving back to the Midlands for family reasons. Our two sons had lovely northern accents, my plan to indoctrinate them was going well but ultimately I have failed. They love football but support different teams!( Villa and West Ham FFS) We have been to many Latics games together over the years and the 3 of us we there at Anfield in 2012 to see that goal. There is a photo of us with me beaming like a Cheshire Cat at the game in our mantle piece as I type!

There are so many experiences that we have shared I could go on forever – loosing 5 0 away at Hereford ( but the streaker! ) bouncing at Fulham ( oh my God that was special) the last minute hair pull – I was sat with my mate who supports the Gills.

I love the Latics – I’m 52, I should know better …it’s a silly unrequited love that I can’t stop.

What is Oldham Athletic to you? By Paul Prendergast

Nine years old, walking into the ground with my dad, get to the top of the crumbling concrete steps and an assault on the senses. Tobacco smoke, oxo, the smell of hot pies. Gallows humour all around the Chaddy End terrace, me clinging for life to the blue steel fence. The excitement of the chanting, the naughtiness of the swearing, the delirium of a goal. Feet like blocks of ice but still unmoved from my vantage point. On the way home on the 404 to Sholver, Excited chattering to my dad about my new heroes Goram, Irwin, Wright, Futcher and Palmer. The smell of the ink on the programme as I forensically studied the seasons statistics arriving back to my grandads to hit meat and potato pie and then after tea I’d relive the game with a game of subbuteo with dad or grandad.

In my teenage years, it became more of an obsession. A paper round meant I could afford to go with my mates, eventually regular away days and my new gods were Ritchie, Adams and Holden.

As I enter my early 20s I’m now a family man but my team whilst on the slide, there’s a release from the mundanity of everyday life there’s life long friendships formed on the terraces hero worship is replaced with a quiet appreciation of Kelly, Sheridan, Duxbury et al. Progress, investment then disaster. The summer of 2003 is like experiencing a family member on life support – and having experienced this, the situation felt just as hopeless.

Survival, grateful thanks – hope…

30s the slide gathers momentum, more friendships crazy away days aboard the banter bus. 50+ games attended. 1,000th professional game ticked off.

Then 7th April 2017 – the man who made it all possible. I had to make the decision to turn off his ventilator. The man who would lift me up to see from the Chaddy End, who would throw me around in delight when we scored, the man who surprised me at the school gates with tickets to the first semi final game at Maine Road in 1990. The man who despite his failing health gave me so many happy moments simply sharing the glory years and beyond, sharing our thoughts and travelling the length and breadth of the country watching us win, lose, draw and no matter what we’d be there the week after. The day I had to say goodbye to my dad was the day I realised watching my team simply would not be the same again.

15/5/17 16:55 We’ve just beaten Bolton with a very late goal. I’m sat in the Chaddy End with a delirious home crowd dispersing. I’m sat with kids, we’re all silent, sat in our old seats afforded a rare opportunity to sit back in our spiritual home. I look to the sky and dedicate Lee Erwin’s goal to dad. Insist there fore hat feels like hours reminiscing over so many great games and so many memories of dad doing the thing he lived, cheering on his ‘blue boys’ He’ll be cremated the week after in his 86/87 shirt, the first season he took me.

My kids have been coming to games since they were 3 & 6 respectively. They’ve been mascots, cheerleaders and flag bearers.

Latics has been with me every step of my life and now I’m in my 40s after the austere Corney decade and the current situation at the club, I have never been so disaffected from my club. Treated with disdain by a totalitarian ownership and his misguided lieutenants. Why do I still go? A misguided loyalty, not wanting to let down dads legacy. To pass on the legacy to my kids. Going to the game used to be pure escapism now it feels alien, toxic – divided.

What DID Latics mean to me? Hope, Family, life time of friendships, banter, laughs, beers, entertainment.

One day the enjoyment and the togetherness will return. Until then I survive on my many memories…

Please sell up Abdallah and take your henchmen with you.

What is Oldham Athletic to you? By Peter Howard

My first visit to Boundary Park was in 1959. Our family had just moved from a little village in Warwickshire to Oldham. On my first day at my new school a boy asked me “Do you go to Latics?” I had no idea what a Latics was – he suggested we go on Saturday after half time to get in free. My previous visits to football grounds had been The Hawthorns and Villa Park both in the old League Division One so the comparison with a pretty empty Boundary Park was stark. Latics were rooted to the bottom of Division Four and played like it. I went to a few more of these ‘second half’ games and then Jack Rowley was made manager. He signed a few new players and my dad started to go with me (I was nine) then signed Bobby Johnston, Bert Lister and, my soon to be second cousin by marriage, Jimmy Frizzell.
Loads of goals and great football followed eventually leading to promotion.
Moving on Frizzell became manager and more wonderful players – Stainrod, Wylde, Garwood – another promotion.
By this time I’m going with my friends.
In 1983 I and my young family moved to Surrey so I could only watch Latics away games and the Christmas matches when we came up to see the family.
Promotion to the top flight was so exciting as were the cup runs. The day at Wembley when Forest and Latics walked out onto the pitch tears filled my eyes – wishing my dad had lived to see this impossible day!
Eventually we were travelling up every weekend when my mother in law became ill – and when Latics were at home I’d go with an old pal. It was like being home again – Sheridan was in his first spell as manager and the team was terrific – I bought a season ticket – it was wonderful to be back.
I continued to travel up at weekends for the home matches – up at six and home by eleven.
Time went by as did a succession of managers and players – I got older and two years ago my body could no longer cope with the journey. So I finally decided to do what I’d threatened to do for the previous four years – I didn’t buy a season ticket.
Sadly although I always look for their scores and listen to the crazy commentary of their games I no longer feel the same as I did because of the mismanagement of the club.
I still want to see live football so I go to Fulham – it’s a very friendly club and I always want them to win but they’re not my team – Latics, or the memory of it, will always be my team. Interestingly when Fulham drew Latics in the cup I sat with the Fulham fans and shouted for Latics and celebrated when we won!

What is Oldham Athletic to you? By Gary Prime

Sadly for me the memories are all in the past. From when my Dad took me to my first Oldham game, stood in the Chaddy at about 13 I got the buzz. The buzz of feeling part of something. Something that mattered then, and still means a lot to thousands of others. I was lucky to see us in The Premier League, which sadly for my Dad, missed the most of due to my Mum being ill. I’ve got the memories of seeing huge clubs at Boundary Park and instead of feeling like a little club, for a short period of time we were in the big time. The trip to Wembley for the Littlewoods Cup Final, walking round town and seeing a town proud of its football club.

Of course those days are long gone, but we still have the cup upsets and the atnosphere away from home remains a great thing. Blackburn away after years of playing stands out and the Peter Clarke goal at Chesterfield sticks out. From going to West Ham on Boxing Day with friends (with the 12 o clock kick off of course managed some 6am beers for the journey down) to where we are today is hard to take but im still here.

The day my lad, who doesn’t live in Oldham wore his first Oldham top is a memory that sticks in for me.

Today, things are pretty deseprate. I worry we wont have a club, but the long traditions of a proud Northern football club will not, and should not disappear without a fight. I love my Oldham, i want my kids, and theirs to enjoy the memories i have.

What is Oldham Athletic to you? By Steve Shipman

Sitting on my dads shoulders underneath the floodlights in the Chaddy End. Roger Palmers testimonial. It was packed, the lights were on and we were beating Manchester City 3-2 and there were roars of laughter and ironic cheers each time Steve Redmond (playing for city) kept smashing the ball out of the stadium. It was the noise, the smell, the shirt (that beautiful shirt!!). I was in. I felt connected. We had just gained promotion to Division 1 (in old money) and while I was far too young to really understand what it meant and why it was so significant. I knew that I was hooked. I needed more. Lots more.

Walking home from school and my Dad smiling and telling me he had a surprise. He showed me a ticket. 15th February 1992. Oldham Athletic versus QPR. My first ever league game. We sat in the Lookers stand upper and watched us win 2-1. We were level with the edge of the penalty area and Rick Holden was on our wing, twisting and turning and dropping the shoulder to find a yard of space to whip a ball into the box. We got back in the car and the heaters went on full blast and we listened to final score on the radio on the drive back. I was asleep on the sofa at 8pm that night. It was just too much excitement for me to be honest.

Why am I telling you this? Because this is what Oldham Athletic is to me. It’s the experience of feeling part of something. I couldn’t attend regularly due to a combination of money, my Dads job and living in Stockport, but when I went, I absolutely loved it. Those experiences back then still live with me now and though I’m older and a little more battered by life, there was never a time when the first game of the season didn’t represent new optimism and hope, seeing the pitch for the first time, smelling the freshly cut grass, seeing the players warming up and the sprinklers on didn’t give me more than a twinge of excitement. It still does.

When Roger Palmer first pulled on a Latics shirt, did he think that one day he would be our leading scorer? Did he this he would be revered and each and every time he comes back to Boundary Park, he would have fans asking for pictures, patting him on the back saying thank you and some not even being old enough to see him play. I’d suspect not.

The point I’m making here is that every single person that pulls on the blue and white shirt and has the owl resting on his heart, has an opportunity. An opportunity to make history. Most goals, most clean sheets, most appearances, most goals in a game, you name it, there is a record for it. When you are kids you don’t look at these players and think “this is their job”, you idolise them. I still have my Junior Latics autograph book that I sent into Oldham only for it to be passed around the dressing room and signed by pretty much everyone in the squad at that time. When people play for Oldham Athletic, they should be fully aware of what is expected of them. I want to feel that pride and connection with people that I watch week in week out. Success would be amazing, but let’s be honest, we just all want to feel those feelings again. We all have different reasons as to why we do what we do, they are personal to us, personal but very very special.

There have been numerous, ups and downs, trials and tribulations in the many many years I’ve supported the club since then but that feeling still remains and still burns inside me. Admittedly, I’m too heavy and too old to sit on my Dads shoulders anymore. But I want to feel like that 9 year old all over again. Don’t we all?

What is Oldham Athletic to you? By Danny Taylor

What does Oldham Athletic mean to me?

Oldham Athletic is home to me. A sense of family, a sense of belonging which has spread happiness through my heart and given that I’m 4th generation of my family to support Latics, a love that exists and lives through our blood. ​

The happiness and good times has been limited in my time watching Latics but safe to say I enjoy the social aspect and the invaluable time and memories shared with my family at matches both home and away. ​

With the first season being 1998/99 at the tender age of 4, Latics staying up on the last day of the season at home to Reading. The joy of winning 4 of the last 6 games that season including 2 in the final week of the season versus Stoke then latterly Reading to avoid the drop. I should have known there were many more testing times to come. I remember my dad asking if I wanted to go on the pitch as the final whistle blew against Reading, for me to reply “I don’t want to get in trouble” so we didn’t.​

Other memories of the early days were going into the Clayton Arms after each game. My dad having drinks with his mates whilst we (the kids) went to the sports hall and belted the football around for hours on end. Memorable moments at Latics consisted of how many footballs Shaun Garnett would smash over either the Main Stand or the Lookers Stand and going into Junior Blues/Latics at half time buying a Chomp for 5p and having a drink of juice, playing on the nintendo/playstations they had (if you got in early enough!). Boundary Park was home. It was happiness!​

Years later, I have seen some good times, of sorts. These mostly include however cup giant killings. Manchester City 1-0 with Vernon scoring. Everton 1-0 through super Gaz McDonald, Forest away 3-2, Liverpool 3-2 with Wabara and a Matt Smith brace then just over a year ago seeing the cup win at Fulham in a FA Cup fixture that had it all! ​

League victories that live long in the memory are the 5-0 win over Forest at home on New Year’s Day 2007, wins at Huddersfield, Bury and Rochdale along with capturing last minute elation at games such as Scunthorpe for Gaz McDonald’s equaliser and Peter Clarke’s winner away at Chesterfield. ​

These were and are enought to keep anybody holding onto the love, the passion, the hope that things will improve once more. Except, it doesn’t anymore.​

My family is broken through the goings on in the previous 18 months/2 years. My mum’s team who she has followed for 5 decades has disappeared (Bury). She no longer has a football team to support. Heartbreaking. Sadly, however, my dad is suffering similar pain. ​

Yes, Latics have been walking out every Saturday with the badge lay on the heart of the player’s shirts, but the club he and I fell in love with has disappeared. It’s gone. Home games feel like an obligation, goals feel like papering over cracks and wins give a short moment of elation before resorting back to the disconnected feel that supporters are feeling. ​

The fan base dwindling, the social aspect slowly disintegrating due to numbers of social groups declining dramatically. Why it must be asked? Why now?​

Personally, I have this conversation with myself each day in my head. We have conversations like these around family gatherings and before/after attending games. We ask each other over and over what the final straw was? There are many people I am sure will have that point where the level of disconnect is beyond repair. I am now at that stage and won’t be purchasing a season ticket for the first time in living memory for me. ​

I have been brought up with football at Latics that offered very little with the exception of 2/3 seasons. Success isn’t what got me hooked, the sense of happiness and belonging pulled me in. I’m not bothered about being good, I just want my Oldham back.