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I was at school with his son Ian.

Eric was Latics' top scorer until Roger Palmer - and awarded the Dodger a trophy when his record went.

Seven goals in our 11-2 victory over Chester and a member of the Div 3 North championship team.

Edited by LaticsPete
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Eric Gemmell was one of my early heros when I was a kid. I saw him score those seven goals, but he was not just a good goal scorer - he was a real old fashioned centre forward who led the line and was skilful at playing in others. And he was a good cricketer - played as a professional, I think, in the leagues for Levenshulme or Longsight.

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The legendary Eric Gemmell
Picture courtesy of Stewart W. Beckett's book 'Keeping The Dream Alive'.

Extract from Garth Dykes’ book ‘Oldham Athletic Complete Record 1899-1988’ (updated).

Eric Gemmell’s Career:
Manchester City 25th March 1946.
Ashton United (loan) 1946-47.
Latics 24th June 1947 - 1954.
Crewe 20th February 1954.
Rochdale 25th September 1954.
Buxton 11th April 1956.
Nantile Vale (Wales) player-manager July 1960.

Tall and lithe, stylish and strong-shooting, Eric held Latics’ front line together splendidly and was the club’s highest aggregate goalscorer until overtaken by Roger Palmer. His remarkable feat of notching seven goals (six in succession) in the match against Chester on 19th January 1952 was the best individual performance in the Football League since Joe Payne obtained ten in one game for Luton in April 1936. Also cricket professional with the Levenshulme Club.

In the 1950-51 season Eric scored the first of his nine hat-tricks for the Club in the 4-1 victory against Stockport at Edgeley Park. The following season he scored 28 goals in 37 league appearances, including hat-tricks against Tranmere (home 3-0) Lincoln City (home 4-1) and Carlisle United (away 3-3).

In the 1952 game against Chester, Eric missed easy chance in the opening minutes before scoring in the 20th minute. Then 16 year old Eddie Hopkinson in goal for Latics, who went on to play for England, made two mistakes in the first half-hour, giving Chester a 2-1 lead, before Latics regained the lead and went in 5-2 up by half-time. Eric then scored six goals in the second half (a feat to equal that of Shoreham for Latics in the 1905 victory over Newton-le-Willows) in the 11-2 victory.


Picture courtesy of Garth Dykes’ book ‘Oldham Athletic Complete Record 1899-1988’.

Eric scored 109 goals for Latics in 195 appearances - the Club's second highest goalscorer - (compared to Roger Palmer’s record which took over 300 appearances) and was in the team which won the Third Division North Championship in 1952-53. In that Championship winning season, Eric was restricted by injury to just 27 league appearances. Nevertheless he scored 23 goals, including hat-tricks at Darlington (5-0) and at home to Hartlepools United (4-2) and Tranmere (5-2).

I was only a young lad in Eric’s days but I knew he was something special. Thanks for all you did for Latics Eric to become a true legend. R.I.P.

Edited to include the goal-scoring details from Dean Hayes' book 'Oldham Athletic, An A-Z'. Edited by Diego_Sideburns
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Another of our family passes.


Last year, I ended up chatting with his minder who was playing on a pool team that was playing mine. The lad told me that Eric was quite frail but I suggested asking Eric about one last trip to BP. The lad said he doubted he'd want to but he'd ask and get back to me. Alas, sadly I never heard back. I'm sure Eric will be looking down and watching us every week now.


Some have great memories of you Eric and many of us wish we had too...RIP Eric.

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