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Summerdeep

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David Currie

David Currie (2/15)

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  1. I once had the autographs of Jim Fryatt and David Shaw, which I collected at a charity cricket match between Crompton CC and an Oldham Athletic side at Glebe Street in the summer of 1970. No longer have them, no idea what became of them!
  2. Bowie also scored with a thunderous 35 yarder that went in off the crossbar in a 4-1 win against Brentford a couple of months later. For a 'central defender' he was very good on the ball, and clearly knew how to finish. I've got a match programme for a game against Barrow from 1968 that has him at centre forward! Maybe it'd be more accurate to describe him as a 'utility player'.
  3. ^ That brings back some memories! I remember that when Frizzell took over as caretaker, his first home league match was against Bradford Park Avenue on 24 January 1970. Bradford were in rock bottom position and had won only one away match since the 1966-67 season, but they were seldom in any trouble in that game, and had two goals disallowed for offside. The attendance was a distinctive 4,444 and Avenue brought quite a few supporters to Boundary Park, unusual in those days. The Latics record at that point was 4 wins from 26 games. On 10 February we played Lincoln City on a Tuesday night after a heavy defeat at Swansea three days previously. It was a freezing evening with the pitch covered in snow and only 2391 spectators present, the lowest attendance of the season. With the game deep into stoppage time, and Lincoln leading 1-0, Alan McNeill chased a ball that seemed to be going out of play, managed to pull it back into the six yard box, and David Shaw stuck home the equalizer with seconds remaining. I think that if we'd lost either or both of those matches, the situation would have been irretrievable and Frizzell's period at the helm might have been very short indeed. God knows who or what we might have ended up with in that case - one of the highest profile applicants for the manager's job was a private detective called Jim Lyness, perhaps best known for his eccentric theories about the Yorkshire Ripper in the 1970s. In any case, four days after that Lincoln match, we destroyed Jimmy Sirrel's Notts County 5-0 at Boundary Park, and it was 'game on'. The rest is history....
  4. I'm a little bit surprised that they even had match programmes back then. I've quite often wondered recently whether old football programmes are or ever will be a decent 'investment', but those clearly might be, at least if some people will really pay those prices. I've bought a number of programmes from the 1960s and 1970s recently, average price about £2.50. That sounds quite cheap, except when you realize that the original price was 5p-10p, so that they now cost around 3500% as much. Even allowing for inflation, that's a serious increase in real terms. So maybe they are a worthwhile long term investment.
  5. I only became a serious Latics supporter in 1969, so towards the end of the Bates era. Nevertheless, researching his regime through old programmes etc seems to show that his first 12 months were an exciting time at the club. Relegation appeared to be a near certainty when he took over in December 1965, but McIlroy as the new manager was able to inspire a 'great escape'. Attendances also doubled on average to around the 10,000 mark. The first three or four months of 1966-67 were also promising, with the team never far out of the promotion zone and probably peaking with the 1-0 win at QPR in November. The wheels really seemed to come off in January 1967, when we failed to win any games: this included the FA Cup exit to Wolves, when we threw away a 2-0 lead with just a couple of minutes to go, then got hammered in the replay. I've sometimes wondered whether that injury time Wolves equalizer had a similar psychological effect on the club to Mark Hughes's goal at Wembley in 1994. At any rate it was downhill all the way from then on, until the John Lowe and Jimmy Frizzell era, of course... Bates presumably lost interest after his large financial investment in the club failed to bring instant rewards.
  6. ^ Yes, Frizzell's most successful sides were those which had a 4-2-4 line up, with two genuine wingers. I'm thinking obviously of the 1970-71 promotion team with Heath and Bebbington supplying the crosses from the wings (aided and abetted at times by Wood and Whittle), and the 1974 Div 3 Championship side with McVitie and Groves. It's interesting that it was only after the signing of Groves in February '74 that the Latics were transformed from fringe promotion hopefuls to a side capable of challenging Bristol Rovers for the divisional title.
  7. Yeah, I forgot about that Preston relegation. Maybe because they bounced straight back up in 70-71 so that I didn't notice they'd gone missing! Another interesting signing was Don Heath, also in the summer of 1970. A regular member of the Swindon side that won promotion from Div 3 in 1969, and beat Arsenal in the League Cup final at Wembley the same year. The legendary Don Rogers played on the other wing. Swindon were still on the up at the start of the 70s, twice winning the Anglo-Italian trophy with wins against Roma, Juventus and Napoli. Once again he was persuaded to drop down two divisions and come to Latics for a modest fee. Quite a quick and skillful right winger, though finishing wasn't his forte (one goal in 45 games). For some reason he didn't manage to hold down a regular first team place in 71-72, and ended up with Hartlepool in the lower reaches of Div 4 by 1973.
  8. ^ Bill Cranston, now there's a name! Something about Bill has always fascinated and puzzled me - he was signed from Preston NE in the close season of 1970, for £6000 apparently, after being voted their 'Player of the Year'. Preston were a solid mid-table Second Division side, and at 28 years of age, Cranston could probably have expected to be able to play at that level for another two or three seasons, yet he chose to drop down two divisions to play for a side that had just finished two points above the re-election zone in the old Fourth Division. What did that say about Bill Cranston? Or maybe one should ask what it tells us about the persuasive abilities and personal magnetism of Jimmy Frizzell, who managed to sign such a player after just a handful of months in club management. Sorry for derailing the thread somewhat, but maybe a separate 'Bill Cranston' thread would have been very much a minority interest.....
  9. I'm reminded a little bit of 1970-71, when the Latics won promotion from Div 4 under Jimmy Frizzell. Their 'goals for' total was 88 , the second highest in the Football League (one behind runaway Div 4 champions Notts County's total of 89). 'Goals against' were 63, worse than about half the sides in the division. Games at Boundary Park were particularly spectacular, with a 5-1 win v Brentford, 5-2 v Aldershot, 4-2 v Lincoln and 5-3 v Crewe. There were also heavyish defeats: 1-3 v Workington, 1-3 v Notts County and 2-4 v Southport. It's probably a bit ridiculous to compare the Latics side from that season with the Brazil side that won the 1970 World Cup, but they too scored a sackful of goals in almost every game, while usually conceding at least one or two thanks to their leaky defence.
  10. While we're on the subject (or getting more and more off the subject, according to your point of view), the Latics played at least one or two games on the European continent around 1973. Recollections of this are very hazy indeed, and not helped by the absence of any Oldham Chronicle match reports at the time (maybe the Chron couldn't afford to pay Jim Williams's expenses). But I'm almost certain that we played PAOK Thessaloniki in Greece, and secured a 0-0 draw. That would have been a very creditable result indeed, as they finished runners up in the Greek First Division in 72-73, and reached the quarter-finals of the European Cup Winners Cup in 73-74. And I've a feeling we may have played another match at around this time, maybe in Portugal. Did we beat one of their top division sides 2-0? Possibly, but it definitely wasn't Benfica, Porto or Sporting Lisbon (as if...). In the video clip below, Ian Wood appears to be talking about a game in which the Latics were winning 2-0, and from the fact that he says Bobby Collins was playing, that would place it circa 1973. Wood is infuriatingly vague here though, and doesn't mention the name of the opposition or even the country! The interviewer does helpfully inform us it was 'abroad' however. The relevant bit starts at the 9:30 mark.
  11. Re the Hibs game, it's rather surprising and disappointing that the attendance was below 4000. It was a lovely warm spring evening, and the Latics had secured promotion just 3 days earlier, so it should have been party time! Besides, Scottish football was of massively higher quality at that time than it is today - in 1970 Celtic had reached their second European Cup final in four seasons, and in '72 Rangers were to win the UEFA Cup, beating Bayern Munich en route: Hibs were a quality team as well, and often finished not too far below the Old Firm. Just four days later, almost 12,000 turned up at Boundary Park to watch a dreadful 1-1 draw against a poor Stockport County side, LOL. I don't remember much about the game, not even Fryatt's goal, but do recall the sight of the Hibs left back, Eric Schaedler, launching long throw-ins almost 40 yards, so that they could be the equivalent of a corner kick in some circumstances. This he did with an extraordinary arching of his back prior to releasing the ball. Ian Hutchinson of Chelsea was famous for his long throws, but this guy was even more impressive. I was shocked to discover when researching Schaedler for this post that he had committed suicide in the mid-1980s when still only in his 30s. How sad. On the subject of the Spanish tour, I remember reading some Oldham Chronicles from June 71 in the Local History Library some years ago, and was struck by how chaotic the arrangements seemed to be. There was no proper itinerary or fixture list, and the Latics often didn't know who they would be playing until the day of the match. That certainly applied to the Swansea game and they were also scheduled to play a game against Calella, but I'm not sure it ever took place. Maybe the second game against Lloret replaced it? Incidentally, that latter game turned into a bit of a bloodbath, with more than one mass brawl - David Shaw was sent off for fighting, and Jim Fryatt punched one of the Spaniards in the mouth. Good job this game didn't count for the Ford Sporting League!
  12. ^No probs, LP! I often wish it were still 1970 rather than the dire times we live in today, football wise and in other respects too. I was at that Lancs Senior Cup final at Spotland, and have always been a bit miffed at Frizzell for 'resting' Fryatt and Bryceland on that evening. It gave Dale a better chance to achieve a 'treble' against us that season (they'd already beaten us in a pre-season friendly at BP, and in the FA Cup First Round at Spotland). There was indeed a decent attendance there that night, though that was only half the 14,000-ish all ticket turnout for the FA Cup tie the previous November. We were 3-1 down early in the second half, but pulled one back, then had a goal disallowed for a dubious offside!
  13. Definitely mentioned in my edition of Garth Dykes's "Oldham Athletic Complete Record 1899-1988", in a short article on Jimmy Frizzell (page 43). That 3-1 League Cup win at Bury was a great performance too, coming just two or three days after a crushing 4-1 defeat at Grimsby on the opening day of the season. Getting back to the original theme, there are quite a few obscure, ill-documented games from that era which are remembered, if at all, by a dwindling number of supporters. Another such was a 2-0 friendly win against Blackpool, newly promoted to Div 1, just after the end of the 69-70 season. They sent their first team, with players like Tommy Hutchison in the line up, and we sent them packing with goals by Fryatt and Wood, both in the last couple of minutes of the game. Also there was an interesting match against Liverpool in the semi-final of the Lancashire Senior Cup in around February 1971. Shankly was in the process of dismantling his late 60s lineup and replacing the old guard with players like Clemence, Lindsay, Heighway and Keegan, which gave Boundary Park punters a rare chance to see the likes of Tommy Lawrence, Ron Yeats, Ian St John and Peter Thompson in the flesh. We won 1-0 to qualify for the final v Rochdale, but I can't recall who scored. Finally does anyone else remember a friendly against Hibernian at the end of the 70-71 season? They were probably the third best club in Scotland at the time, after Celtic and Rangers, and had class players like Pat Stanton and John Blackley. We beat them 1-0, but again I don't recall the scorer.
  14. Here's an obscure topic, LOL. Jimmy Frizzell had only been in the manager's job for around four months at the end of the 1969-70 season, but already he'd saved us from having to apply for re-election to the Football League, and then masterminded a cup final win. This was the 'Manchester Senior Cup' , with the Latics hammering Bury (in Div 3 at the time) 4-1 at Boundary Park on a Tuesday evening in late April or early May. Both sides put out full strength teams, and Bury took the lead after about 20 minutes through Paul Hince, who a few years later became a journalist on the Manchester Evening News, but in a performance typical of that early Frizzell era, we stormed back in great style - can't remember our goalscorers, but I've a feeling Jim Fryatt scored at least twice and may have got a hat trick. Only about a couple of thousand were at the game, which was a pity. What I've always wondered about is: how did the Latics get to the final of this competition? I can't recollect any games from earlier rounds, and club programmes from that season don't mention any. The first I knew of it was when the Bury match was announced in the Oldham Chronicle a few days before it took place. Maybe Oldham and Bury were the only two clubs which entered the competition and contested the final by default, but that doesn't seem very likely. Can any veteran supporters perhaps shed some light on this matter? Looking on Ebay recently I noticed a programme for the Manchester Senior Cup final between Latics and Bolton on 20th May 1963. The starting bid is £17.99. Good luck with that one, Mr Vendor! I won't be bidding, that's for sure...
  15. Just wondering....was the home game v Sunderland in 1975-76 (on 20th March '76) televised by Granada? My Latics obsession from 1969-75 had peaked by then, and this was one of the relatively few games I attended in that season, which I only have a dim recollection of, but for some reason seem to recall the presence of TV cameras. One thing I do clearly remember was that it was an absolutely dreadful game (final score 1-1).
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