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Oldham Athletic A.F.C.

Oldham Athletic Football Club (2004) Ltd, more commonly Oldham Athletic Football Club or informally Oldham Athletic, is an English football club based at Boundary Park, on Sheepfoot Lane, Oldham, Greater Manchester. They are currently playing in Coca-Cola League One. The club was founded as Pine Villa Football Club in 1895 before renaming in 1899.

The current limited company was formed after some months in administration during 2003–04; the club's immediate future was secured on 3 February 2004, when a group of American-based expatriate British businessmen bought the club, forming a new company Oldham Athletic (2004) Association Football Club Ltd.

Oldham have never won a major trophy, but they did reach the League Cup final in 1990 (losing 1–0 to Nottingham Forest), finished league runners-up in 1915, and were FA Cup semi-finalists in 1913 (losing to Aston Villa), 1990 and 1994 (losing both times to eventual winners Manchester United). Their most recent spell in the top flight lasted from 1991 until 1994, and on the final day of the inaugural Premier League season, they avoided relegation on goal difference after a remarkable 4–3 win over Southampton.

Significant former managers of Oldham Athletic include George Hardwick, Jimmy Frizzell, Joe Royle, Graeme Sharp, Andy Ritchie, Iain Dowie, and Brian Talbot. Royle was arguably the most successful manager in Oldham's history, taking charge of the club between 1982 and 1994. He lead the club to promotion into the top flight after a 68 year absence, as well as reaching one League Cup final and two FA Cup semi finals.


Early history

Pine Villa Football Club was formed in 1895, though the club changed it's appearance and name in 1899 to Oldham Athletic Football Club. The club immediately gained professional status and played in both the Lancashire Combination and Lancashire League. Unlike many clubs, Oldham gained quick success and gained acceptance into the Football League in 1907–08. After three years in the Second Division, the Latics gained promotion to the First Division.

Oldham also gained some success in the FA Cup by reaching the semi-finals in 1912–13 campaign but lost 1–0 versus Aston Villa. In the 1914–15, the Latics reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup but were knocked out once again after a 0–3 replay against Sheffield United. The Latics early success was only be halted by the First World War.

Interwar struggles

Following the return of competitive football after the First World War, Oldham struggled to find their early success before they returned to the Second Division in 1923–24. Many of the players from their former squads had either retired from football or had been killed in the war. Their highest success came in the 1929–30 season as they finished in 3rd, missing out on promotion by finishing two points behind Chelsea. Several years later, the club was once again be relegated as they finished in 21st place and falling to Division Three North. Oldham found success in Division Three North, though they never gained promotion before the outbreak of the Second World War.

Postwar plight

Once more, the war hit Oldham hard as the team began to struggle immediately following the return of competitive football. In the first five years after the war, the Latics finished inside of the top 10 once. It wasn't until the 1952–53 season that the club found their old form, finish in 1st place and earning a spot back into the Second Division. The next season, however, Oldham finished in last place and return to Third Division North. After their return, the club returned to mediocrity as they finished in 10th place. Between 1955 and 1960, Oldham struggled as they finished out of the top 20 on three occasions. With a 15th place finish in 1958–59, Oldham became a founding member of a newly formed Fourth Division.

Ken Bates entered the picture at Oldham Athletic in the early 1960s, and along with the appointment of manager Jack Rowley, the club's fortunes turned for the better. During the 1962–63 season, Oldham again gain promotion to the Second Division as Rowley left as manager. Over the next six seasons, Oldham struggled with consistency in the league and at the manager position—with Les McDowall, Gordon Hurst, and Jimmy McIlroy all spending time at the managerial position.

In the 1968–69, Jack Rowley once more returned as manager. With their inconsistency, Rowley and Bates could not save the club from a last place finish and inevitable relegation. Midway through the 1969–70 season, Rowley and Bates both left the club as Jimmy Frizzell became the Latics manager—a position he held for the next 13 seasons.

Frizzell and Royle eras

Jimmy Frizzell, a Scottish-born defender, became Oldham's player-manager during the 1969–70 season. In the 1970–71 season, Oldham saw their best result since 1962–63 as they finished in third place, earning promotion back to the Third Division. After a midtable result in their first season, the Latics missed out on promotion—finishing in 4th place, 12 points behind league champions Lincoln City. In the 1973–74 season, the Latics finished in 1st place and return to the Second Division for the first time in 21 years. Oldham's trip back to the Second Division was more successful than their previous appearance. During Frizzell's remaining time at the club, the Latics remained in Division Two, but with little FA Cup and Football League Cup success.

During the mid-1980s, the club ushered in a new era under manager Joe Royle—who became one of the most successful and longest-serving in Oldham's history. Royle's side finished 7th in his first season in charge and fall to 19th spot finish in his second. In the 1986–87 season, Oldham narrowly missed promotion to the First Division finishing three points behind Portsmouth.

Royle's Latics reached Wembley Stadium in the 1990 Football League Cup Final versus Nottingham Forest. After a Nigel Jemson goal, an exhausted Oldham squad fell to an honourable Nottingham squad 1–0. The next season, Oldham did not have the same cup success, but instead found success by winning the Second Division and returning to First Division for the first time in 68 years. In their first season back in the top flight, the club finished in 17th and became one of the founding members of the newly-formed Premier League. Though after two more seasons at the top level, Oldham faced relegation yet again and during the following season, the Joe Royle era at Oldham Athletic came to an end, as he left the club for Everton.

Recent history

After a three year stint under Graeme Sharp, Oldham turned to Neil Warnock—though his time ended as well after Oldham were relegated for the second time in four years, returning to Second Division. After little success under Andy Ritchie, Oldham fell into inconsistency and constant managerial changes.

In 2001, local businessman Chris Moore purchased Oldham promising Oldham would return to Premier League football within five years. During that season, Oldham lost in a play-off match against Queens Park Rangers. Much to the anger of fans, Moore decided to end his interest with the club—leaving behind large debts and a weak squad.

In 2004–05, Simon Blitz and two other partners purchased Oldham, trying to rescue the club from possibly liquidation. While trying to repay debts, Oldham struggled for several seasons—barely avoiding relegation once more in 2004–05. In the 2006–07, Oldham's fortune turned for the better once more as the club narrowly missed out on promotion—losing to Blackpool 5–2 on aggregate.


Boundary park is less than from the stadiums of Bury, Manchester City, Manchester United, and Rochdale.

As their more traditional rivals such as Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Bury, and Manchester City are no longer regular opponents, the Latics maintain local rivalry with West Yorkshire clubs such as Huddersfield Town, Leeds United, and near neighbours Stockport County.


Current squad

As of 23 July 2008.

Past notable

Scottish international striker Graeme Sharp, signed from Everton in 1991, was Oldham's player-manager from 1994 to 1997. Other famous players to wear the Oldham shirt include Andy Ritchie (who was manager from 1998 to 2001), Earl Barrett, Denis Irwin, Gunnar Halle, Mike Milligan and more recently, Micah Richards who came up through the Oldham youth system and now plays for England and Manchester City.

Club officials

Board of Directors and Presidents Vice-President: Chaim Beniaker
Chairman: Simon Blitz
Managing Director: Simon Corney
Director: Danny Gazal
Chief Executive & Director: Alan Hardy
Director: Ian Hill
Director: Barry OwenCoaching staff Manager: John Sheridan
Assistant Manager: Tommy Wright
Reserve Team Coach: Lee Duxbury
Goalkeeping Coach: Mark Crossley
Chief Scout: Graham Brown
Senior Physiotherapist: Marc Czuczman
Reserve & Youth Team Physiotherapist: Jon Guy

Notable former managers

The following managers have all won a title in the club's history.
Name Nationality From To
David Ashworth 1 August 1906 1 April 1914
George Hardwick 1 November 1950 1 May 1956
Jack Rowley 1 June 1960 31 May 1963
Jimmy McIlroy 1 January 1966 1 August 1968
Jimmy Frizzell 1 March 1970 12 June 1982
Joe Royle 14 July 1982 10 November 1994
Ronnie Moore 1 March 2005 1 June 2006


After playing at what was originally called Athletic Ground, the ground was opened for Oldham's first football club—Oldham County F.C. In 1899, after County had folded, Pine Villa moved into the ground and renamed the club and stadium. The stadium is located on the Oldham side of the conjunction of Oldham, Chadderton and Royton, and has a current capacity of 10,638. The stadium currently only has three stands, with one undergoing construction as the original was demolished in June 2008. Before the demolition of the fourth stand, the stadium had a capacity of 13,559.

The record attendance is 47,671 during an FA Cup tie between Oldham and Sheffield Wednesday in 1930—when the capacity was 50,000.

In February 2006, the club unveiled plans for reconstruction of the stadium. After initially being rejected by Oldham Council, the decision was overturned with permission for the entire ground to be redeveloped. When construction is completed, the ground is expected to seat 16,000, costing approximately £80 million. On September 5, 2008 Simon Blitz announced on World Soccer Daily podcast that due to the current economic problems in England right now that the development of the stadium is on hold but only temporary and as soon as the conditions permit the plans will continue.




Club records


External links

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