OLDHAM RLFC are in mourning this week after learning of the death of two of the club’s former players.

Club condolences have been extended to the family of former Roughyeds winger Billy Patterson, who has died at his home in Bredbury — and to Roger O’Mahoney, who died recently in Spain.

Billy played 72 senior games for Oldham between 1960 and 1964, numbering Brian Lord, Alan Davies, John Noon, Vinnie Nestor and Keith Holden among the centres he partnered in the early days following the break-up of the club’s great 1950s side.

Oldham-born, Billy will be remembered fondly by older supporters as a slightly-built winger with the heart of a lion and amazing courage.

He scored 29 tries and kicked 12 goals for 111 points and was a classic example of the player who performed “well above his weight”.

The funeral was due to take place at Stockport Crematorium today (Thursday) at 1.45pm.

John Watkins and Bob Henthorn were representing the Oldham Players’ Association, whose annual dinner will be on Friday, November 2 at the St Herbert’s Function Room, Broadway, Chadderton.

The funeral of former Oldham hooker Roger O’Mahoney will be held at Rochdale Crematorium tomorrow (Friday) at 9.50am.

One of the few rugby league players to come from Heywood, a soccer stronghold, he turned pro with Oldham from Rochdale amateurs Spotland Rangers and made his Roughyeds debut in season 1972-73 at a time when the renowned Kevin Taylor was in his prime.

In his first four seasons at Watersheddings, O’Mahoney learned his trade in a hugely-successful Oldham ‘A’ team which won silverware in a competition for reserve teams then known as the Lancashire Combination.

As the Taylor years drew to a close, O’Mahoney came into his own and enjoyed his best seasons in 1976-77, 1977-78 and 1978-79 when he became a senior-side regular.

He was an ever-present in 77-78, playing in all 33 games, and in 78-79 he figured in 28 out of 31 games, missing only three matches in two full seasons.

In his nine full seasons at Oldham he totalled 122 appearances, scoring nine tries.

By 1979-80 onwards, and following the arrival of Alan McCurrie from Wakefield Trinity, O’Mahoney’s senior appearances were on the slide and in September, 1982, he went to Warrington on loan at a time when the Wire were suffering an injury-crisis which particularly hit their No 9 position.

In those days players who wore No 9 were real hookers, not like those in the modern game with its uncontested scrums and hookers who would be more appropriately named “dummy halves” because of their specialist work behind the ruck.

Such an impact did O’Mahoney make at Wilderspool while on loan that he was quickly signed permanently with Oldham receiving a transfer fee of £5,000.

And in his first full season with the Wires he won the Player of the Year award.