OLDHAM fans will be ready with a special ‘welcome home’ chant for Danny Langtree when he runs out at the Vestacare Stadium tomorrow, ahead of the top-four clash with Betfred League 1 leaders Hunslet.

Gerald Brierley, self-confessed Roughyeds fan and a senior presenter on Oldham Community Radio, has already been singing it on air, changing the lyrics of a well-known football ditty to: “Langtree’s coming home, he’s coming home, Langtree’s coming home.”

After eight years at Oldham, whom he first joined as a 19-year-old, the free-scoring second-row forward left the club at the end of last season to join Super League outfit Hull FC.

He went with the best wishes of the club, coaching staff, fellow players and fans, who feared he would leave a big hole but were united in their belief he deserved a break at a higher level. In 148 senior appearances for the club, Langers scored 70 tries, 21 of them in 2018 when he became Oldham’s highest-scoring forward in a single season in the new club’s 21-year existence, beating former hooker John Hough’s18-year-old record of 17.

He walked off with three individual awards as head coach Scott Naylor’s player of the year; the chairman’s club-man of the year and players’ player prize.

Six months after his departure, still without a Super League appearance on his CV and having been sent out to Doncaster on dual-reg to play in the same division as the one he had left behind, he was both frustrated and disillusioned.

He asked for and got his release – and Oldham wasted no time in beating off the competition to bring home their prodigal son, to the delight of their excited fans.

With league leaders Hunslet the opponents at home tomorrow his return couldn’t have been better timed.

The men from south Leeds dropped their first points of the campaign when narrowly beaten at Whitehaven last time out, but they remained top, nudging out the Cumbrians on points difference. Both have eight points from a possible 10, then come four clubs on six – Newcastle, Oldham, Workington and Doncaster.

The reality is that, having lost at Newcastle and at home to Workington on the opening day of the season, Naylor’s men simply cannot afford to go down a third time against opponents who are already two points ahead of them.

They will, however, be strengthened by Langtree and possibly by three who missed the loss at Newcastle – prop Phil Joy, who was given time off because his fiance had just had their first child, prop Ben Davies, who had a mouth wound, and full-back Ritchie Hawkyard, who was having treatment for a hamstring injury.