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BP1960

Jim Williams R.I.P.

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I was sad to read today in the Oldham Chronicle Jim Williams has passed away aged 75.

In my view Jim was the best Latics reporter in all my  60 years of watching the team.

He had tremendous wit and humour and would not hesitate in strong criticism if it was warranted.

R.I.P. Jim, the likes of you won't be seen again.

 

https://www.oldham-chronicle.co.uk/news-features/139/main-news/125856/tributes-paid-to-former-oldham-evening-chronicle-editor

 

 

Edited by BP1960

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Always looked forward to reading his match reports which were interesting, funny and above all factually accurate. 

A stark contrast to some of the dross written by alleged sports journalists nowadays.

R.I.P. Jim - didn't always agree with your opinions but you had my respect. 

 

p.s. You would have had a field day with the shenanigans over the last few years !

Edited by Bobledgersheart

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I certainly remember his reporting as fair and accurate .

Always the first thing I read in the Chron when I was growing up, closely followed by the John Wilkes column.

 

Rip.

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I used to enjoy reading  his reports. As he said he got banned from the club on many occasions because he upset them. I dare say he would definitely be banned at the moment, and possibly for the last couple of years.

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A great local journalist. Excellent turns of phrase. Moved , I think, from Latics reporter to Sports Editor when the Chron was an indispensable part of Oldham life.

 

A line from one of his reports describing Colin Garwood and David Shaw as “goal bagging brigands with penalty area panache”  is still a joy to recall. 

Edited by LaticsPete

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In 1972 Ian Robins is thought to have scored Athletic’s fastest-ever goal when  he scored after only FIVE seconds against Barnsley. Chronicle reporter Jim Williams wrote:


“Referee Walter Johnson clocked the goal at five seconds - and he was probably right for the first and last time of the afternoon.”

 

Latics went on to win the game 6-0... who knows what the score would have been if we’d had a decent ref huh?

 

RIP Jim - fond memories of your match reports.

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Grew up reading his reports - he was a genuinely terrific writer. I’m sure he could have gone on to bigger things if he wanted to. Sad he’s gone so soon after Hugh Mcilvanney. They had a huge disparity in audience size of course but they were the two best sports journalists I ever read. Maybe an element of blue tinted specs re JW in that I suppose but I can live with that.

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Some Jim Williams snippets from my old Chrons;

 

1977 

Latics 1 Charlton 1

What a load of rubbish!

A tepid, tedious match, strewn with errors and  littered with confusion

The defence was as stable as a fistful of water

If Charlton had not been such a drab, dreary side, so lacking in adventure

they might have caused a major upset 

Only the intuitive Les Chapman, who had a marvellous match,

full of fire and finesse, still bears the banner of bright ambition

 

Latics 3 Hull City 0

Alan Groves was the tormentor in chief

Groves played on the Hull defensive nerve like a concert pianist

Muscle man Ian Dobson twice tried to halt the quicksilver Groves with guillotine tackles, he failed

Groves stepped into a minefield of tackles to win the back the ball

He precariously picked his way past three defenders in a run along the goal line

and then chipped a centre over Wealands head and against the bar

 

Bolton 3 Latics 0

Athletic will win nothing if they persist in giving  away goals away with the reckless abandon of a broken fruit machine

The barn-door figure of Allardyce incredibly got higher than the goalkeeper to head home from six yards

 

They don't write them like that anymore.

Edited by BP1960
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Jim was good of that there is no doubt, unfortunately journalism is dying with the passing of the older generation, there aren't too many decent journalists about. 

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30 minutes ago, disjointed said:

Jim was good of that there is no doubt, unfortunately journalism is dying with the passing of the older generation, there aren't too many decent journalists about. 

Not a surprise given that newspaper sales are down by over 55% since Jim's heyday. 

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I used to look forward to reading Jim's reports on Latics. They were always well written, with good use of language to add to his cutting comments.

 

There's another good article, written by former Chron editor David Whaley, in this week's Oldham Times.

 

RIP Jim. 

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1 hour ago, BP1960 said:

Some Jim Williams snippets from my old Chrons;

 

1977 

Latics 1 Charlton 1

What a load of rubbish!

A tepid, tedious match, strewn with errors and  littered with confusion

The defence was a stable as a fistful of water

If Charlton had not been such a drab, dreary side, so lacking in adventure

they might have caused a major upset 

Only the intuitive Les Chapman, who had a marvellous match,

full of fire and finesse, still bears the banner of bright ambition

 

Latics 3 Hull City 0

Alan Groves was the tormentor in chief

Groves played on the Hull defensive nerve like a concert pianist

Muscle man Ian Dobson twice tried to halt the quicksilver Groves with guillotine tackles, he failed

Groves stepped into a minefield of tackles to win the back the ball

He precariously picked his way past three defenders in a run along the goal line

and then chipped a centre over Wealands head and against the bar

 

Bolton 3 Latics 0

Athletic will win nothing if they persist in giving  away goals away with the reckless abandon of a broken fruit machine

The barn-door figure of Allardyce incredibly got higher than the goalkeeper to head home from six yards

 

They don't write them like that anymore.

 

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47 minutes ago, Dave_Og said:

Not a surprise given that newspaper sales are down by over 55% since Jim's heyday. 

There aren't too many decent newspapers, sales will be down. The news stands are littered with toilet trash gossip columns, I blame the politicians. 

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12 minutes ago, disjointed said:

There aren't too many decent newspapers, sales will be down. The news stands are littered with toilet trash gossip columns, I blame the politicians. 

 

Vicious circle.

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Sad news. Jim was an excellent journalist and from an era of journalism when local newspapers reached most households.

 

I studied journalism at university and completed my dissertation of the representation of the two main groups of people leading up to, during and after the race riots. My conclusion was that the Chron had a bias under his editorship (institutional, mind you; it was traceable before Jim was appointed). My opinion, of course. Nor was it comment on Jim as a person. Lots of newspapers, as we know, had - and still have - a bias towards groups of people.

 

1 hour ago, disjointed said:

Jim was good of that there is no doubt, unfortunately journalism is dying with the passing of the older generation, there aren't too many decent journalists about. 

 

18 minutes ago, disjointed said:

There aren't too many decent newspapers, sales will be down. The news stands are littered with toilet trash gossip columns, I blame the politicians. 

 

I don't believe this is true. Intrigue has existed since the invention of the printing press. George Orwell wrote some excellent stuff about local newspapers, niche newspapers etc. 

 

The problem, aided by the invention of the internet, that could serve as the unique source of all information (Orwell incidentally predicted something along the lines of an electronic enclycopedia), is that we no longer believe we should pay for news content. I'm under 30 and still buy newspapers, but that's rare. The Guardian are building a base who is willing to purchase its content voluntarily; the Times, however, have used a paywall for some years now and last I heard had in excess of 100,000 subscribers. The harsh reality is that local newspapers, who have to transition to the online world, will die because we just won't pay for it.

 

The days of proper write-ups following council meetings seem lost. Personally, I believe communities need to fund local journalism otherwise the notion of holding local politicians etc to account will go forever, and that is, well, bad news. It's a sad comment on the lack of engagement in pretty much anything that isn't a meme or some petty thing on Facebook by certain ages. Having said that, there is evidence to suggest the current 18-24 age demographic is reversing that engagement decline. Fingers crossed.

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Hope you are right re 18-24s. The general knowledge of so many intelligent young people I know is embarrassingly poor.  Which is dangerous. 

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He could certainly wax lyrical in his reporting. 

 

I’m sure I can recall him in his heyday describing one of our players ‘like a raiding Apache down the wing’

 

Always a nod and a smile when passing on the canal in Uppermill and Dobcross. 

 

RIP Jim

 

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Many happy and sad memories, whilst man and boy of Jim's reports on my favourite team. He had an honesty and  a grasp of the written word along with his undoubted passion for the club.

Thanks for all those memories Jim RIP.

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As an exile, my parents used to send to me by post Jim's reports on Latics, and I have many fond memories of a very fine writer and reporter. RIP Jim.

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The highlight of my week was delivering Monday's papers and sitting on the garden wall of Mr. Mullet's vicarage to read the reports. 

 

Brilliant writer. 

 

RIP Jim Williams

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