Oldham RLFC News

Oldham RLFC News
Oldham Rugby League Football Club, also known as the Oldham Roughyeds, are a professional rugby league club based in the Greater Manchester town of Oldham.

The club are either one of the oldest rugby league clubs in the world and one of the founding members of the Northern Union, or they are one of the youngest clubs in the sports heartlands- depending on your own opinion.

That is because the, who were originally formed in 1876 underwent financial difficulties in the 1990’s which led to them been liquidated in 19977, before this version of the club was formed straight afterwards.

No matter what standing the clubs history has, they are a club in the sports heartlands that represent a proud history in the sport, which makes it disappointing at how little media coverage the club often get.

Oldham RLFC Breaking News

Thanking there is now an easy way to find all the latest Oldham RL breaking news stories as we bring you all the latest headlines regarding the club right here on this page.

Oldham RLFC News Latest

No feed items found.

Oldham RLFC Latest News Today

If a news story has broken today regarding the club, we will bring you the headlines right here on this page.


The club have had a number of home stadium down the years including Watershedding, Boundary Park, Hurst Cross, Park Lane and Bower Fold but there current home is the small Whitebank Stadium.

Their traditional home of Watershedding, from where the club played between 1889 and 1997, saw the clubs most successful periods and the club’s inability to keep it is deemed to be the key reasons why the club ultimately were liquidated.

There current home ground of the Whitebank Stadium is a small ground located in the Limeside district of Oldham and whilst it is basic, it has allowed the club to return to the town of Oldham after some time spent playing in Stalybridge.


The club are based in the Greater Manchester town of Oldham, which was traditionally in the county of Lancashire, in the middle of the sport’s northern heartland.


The club have had a number of names down the years including their traditional name of simply Oldham FC, before they changed there name to the Oldham Bears just before going into liquidation in the mid-1990’s.

Upon there return to the sport, Oldham took the name of Oldham RLFC although for much of their history, the club have been known to their fans as the Oldham Roughyeds- a nickname given to both the former and current club.

The former iteration of the club enjoyed lots of success including been the national champions on 4 occasions, the Challenge Cup winners on 3 occasions and lots of regional success but things have been tougher for this current version of the club.

The club still use the Oldham traditional colours of a red and white hooped top with navy blue shorts and red socks, and they have continued their historic rivalry with local clubs such as the Rochdale Hornets, the Halifax Panthers, the Salford Red Devils, the Huddersfield Giants and the Swinton Lions.


The history of rugby in Oldham can be traced back to 1876, when the original Oldham Football Club was formed after a meeting between local businessmen and important local people.

The club started life playing on a field at Gartside Street and there first ever match was against Stalybridge.

In 1889, the club move to their historic home ground of Watershedding and joined the Oldham Cricket Club.

They were a major part of history when in 1895, Oldham along with twenty other club, formed the Northern Union breakaway sport that went on to become the sport of rugby league that we all love to this very day.

The club enjoyed early success in the new code when they won the third ever Challenge Cup final against Hunslet and in the 1904-05 season, the club would become the champions of England after winning their first Championship.

The late 1890’s and early 1900’s also saw lots of regional success for the club including several Lancashire Cup and Lancashire League wins.

In 1912, the club attracted over 28,000 fans for their record ever home attendance.

The 1920’s and 30 saw steady success for the club and they even defeated a touring Australasian team in early 20’s before the club would become one of the most successful sides of the early post-war years with a number of Championship wins, local league and cup wins and they held Australia to a draw.

The 1960’s started as a decade of success but by the end, they finished 29th out of 30 teams in the Championship and their whole board was ousted, with a new head coach put in place by a new board to start the 1970’s.

That decade was a steady one but the 80’s saw a big decline for the Roughyeds as the decade ended with them pleading with fans and the local council for money to after spending heavily to return to success in 1988 and 89-90.

The 1990’s saw Peter Tunsk take over as head coach with the remit of selling all their star players to try and pay the bills that were mounting up and whilst this did see several local youngsters step up into the first team, including the likes of Barrie McDermott, Chris Joynt and Tommy Martyn, it failed to save the clubs finances.

In 1994, the club had to sell its Watershedding home ground and move into Boundary Park, the towns football stadium.
The start of the summer era and the establishment of the Super League saw Rupert Murdoch try to merge several historic clubs, with Oldham expected to merge with Salford and form a new Manchester club.

Thankfully, fans of both clubs demonstrated the merger at a match between the 2 sides and the merger never went ahead but the club did change their name to the Oldham Bears as they became a founding member of the new Super League.

They became the first club to be relegated from the Super League and that, combined with historic debts, would see them going into liquidation.

Just a few months later, a new club was formed with the name of the Oldham Roughyeds but they would have to start life in the bottom tier.

The start of the Millennium almost saw the club return to the topflight when they lost to Widnes in the Northern Ford Premiership Grand Final but a falling out with the owners of Boundary Park would see them leave the town and move to the nearby Hurst Cross ground in Ashton-under-Lyne.

When the 2nd tier of the sport split into two, the club stayed in the division below the Super League after a strong finish and they would go onto reach the play-offs for the next couple of seasons.

During that period, they also racked up big debts once again and in 2005, they entered into a CVA.

In 2006, those financial difficulties impacted things on the field and they were relegated to the third tier but they would start life there debt free and playing back in the town at Boundary Park.

In 2007, the club would take on new owners and would be feature in the first ever televised 3rd division matches when their game against the Crusaders were picked for Sky Sports.

The next couple of years would see the club enjoy some success and reach the Grand Final for 32 straight seasons, but they continued to come up short in the big match and things took another turn for the worse when they had to leave Boundary Park once again.

The town’s council came to their aid and bought a small football ground called Whitebank Stadium and leased it to the Roughyeds.

Before getting the ground up to standard, they would play at the Park Lane home of Sedgly RUFC in Whitefield, with their first match at Whitebank coming in May 201 when played York.

In 2017, the club were relegated to the third tier but in 2019, they gain promotion to the 2nd tier once again, but it was only short lived as in 2021, they suffered relegation once more after just 2 wins all season long.

Oldham RL News Headlines

If you are looking for the latest Oldham RL news headlines, you are in the right place as we bring all the headlines as and when they break.

Oldham Roughyeds News Update

As is the case in the era of first to publish, news stories don’t tend to tell the whole story even after publication and that leaves fans with the frustration of having to constantly search for updates.

At least that used to be the case as we do all the searching for you and bring you the updates right here on this page as and when they happen.


Enjoy this website? Please spread the word :)