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LOTW - 31/5/07 - Rick Holden


Stevie_J
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Welcome to the tenth Latics Legend of the Week. This week it's the finest winger, and biggest barmpot, I've ever seen in a Latics shirt, Rick Holden.

We're looking for you, our members, to post their memories, anecdotes and stories of our weekly Legend. Anything at all.

Mate of yours? Met him in a pub? Go to school with his Mrs? Get hit by his car? Had a scuffle with him?!
Anything and everything!

If you have access to some season stats or career stats then post those too; pictures, videos, songs, etc, etc...!?
Post them all!!


A couple of very simple rules:
1. Please stay on the topic of a single legend at once... it probably apparent why by now.
(If you would like to suggest an upcoming legend then please feel free to PM me)
2. Please don't post anything which may subject you to libel... as OWTB cannot be held responsible for that.
3. Have fun!

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A winger who rarely beat his man. But his crosses were sublime. He had a left-foot like a Pitching Wedge and regularly planted perfect lobs onto the heads of our Strikers. One of the main architects of the "pinch-me" years.

 

The art of crossing is clearly difficult since few can do it well. David Beckham has built a multi-million pond career on this skill but few others seem able to do it consistently. Apart from Tricky Ricky.

 

Before we played Luton away on the opening day of the 2005-2006 season, I stayed at a Hotel in Milton Keynes. Barnsley were playing there that day and I introduced my eldest son (then 5) to Rick saying we were Oldham Fans. He seemed genuinely shocked that we'd want to say "hello" to someone like him and he pointed out that Andy Ritchie would be along in a minute. I've news for you Rick, you are a Latics Legend too.

 

Nice bloke. Very modest. Tremendously skilful. Scruffy dude. :)

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My favourite player of all time.

 

He had, as Inspiral points out, an art when it came to crossing. Like Beckham, he seemed to be able to bend his ankle in such an unnatural manner, which allowed him to really whip it in.

 

My favourite Rick moment (highlighted in my signature thing) is his cross against Everton in the FA cup. The most perfect cross I've ever seen and he was barely in Everton's half.

 

A true folk hero of Oldham Athletic.

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After the signing of John Keeley, there was all the news about how good he was at Brighton, and everyone was waiting for him to come out.

 

When all of a sudden this figure appeared in the keeper top and everyone was shouting "Keeley, Keeley, Keeley" then everyone realised it was Rick!

 

Tool!

 

Also remember that blond haired lad who used to sell tea and coffee around the ground, Holden scored and ran straight up to him and nearly broke the poor sods back!

 

Also anyone remember that stunner at Newcastle?

 

Indeed a legend!

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I remember reading an interview, back in the day; I think it was with Sean McCarthy, but I could be wrong. He was asked about the worst dressed player at Latics. He described that Holden was something of a nutcase and then went on to describe Ricky turning up for training wearing only one shoe. When asked why he was wearing one shoe, he replied, "I found it on the way here."

 

Madder than a box of frogs but a class act. I remember him very fondly. As people have said, he played a massive part in our glory years. I'd have loved to see him playing for England.

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My all time favourite.

 

I was at University College Salford at the same time as Rick and would regularly see him on the corridors. This was whilst he was a Latics player and he was my idol. Probably the last Latics player that I would call a 'hero' of mine.

 

He was the best crosser of the ball in the country at the time - I would compare him to Forest's John Robertson in his prime - no real turn of pace for a winger but didn't need it, he could get the cross in anyway. Get the old videos out and see the proportion of our goals that were created by Rick's crosses. That overhead kick at Newcastle was amazing - I remember a few Latics fans being thrown out for celebrating too enthusiastically!

 

I remember when he was at Citeh he was still driving round in his Latics sponsored car, with Oldham Athletic plastered down the side. That he went on to be voted Citeh's worst ever player only makes him more of a hero!

 

A few years ago, in the Isle of Man I asked if me and my daughter (then 6 months old) could have our photo taken with him. No problem, he says, taking Emily out of my hands and happily posing holding her - that photo is a prized possesion.

 

The word is used too often but Ricky Holden deserves the title 'legend'. Top Man

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My all time favourite.

This was whilst he was a Latics player and he was my idol. Probably the last Latics player that I would call a 'hero' of mine.

The word is used too often but Ricky Holden deserves the title 'legend'. Top Man

I agree. An absolute legend. I get 'Holden 25' (that was his number when he came back from city) on the back of any Oldham shirt I get and still do to this day. Best 'character' Oldham has ever seen. Absolute brilliant crosser of the ball. Latics through and through.

Edited by rickoldham27
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The first player I was truly amazed by. Able to whip a cross into the box from seemingly impossible angles. He seemed to have a left peg that could wrap itself around the ball and somehow get a cross pinged into the box. Right peg wasn't too shabby either.

 

A leg-end if ever there was one.

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Rick could cross the ball (in modern terms) like Beckham, but Rick could do it with both feet.

 

He was also prone to going down easily but clumsily - the only part of Rick's game that Chris Taylor has copied effectively so far. My favourite Rick moment was when he was playing against us at Maine Road. He was running down the wing in front of the Latics' fans, when he dived following a slight challenge and won a free kick. A chorus of boos came from the Latics' fans. Rick was still on the ground and he raised himself onto one elbow, turned to the Latics' fans and winked. The boos turned to a round of applause for his cheek! :grin:

 

When Mrs Sideburns and I were in the Isle of Man we drove from Douglas to Peel one morning and called in at Peel's ground, where Latics were training. We'd been listening to a tape I have of radio commentaries on Latics' great cup ties. Rick was stood at the side of the Peel pitch and we talked to him about those games on the tape. He reminisced with us and said it was impossible for such a team to ever be assembled again.

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My favourite Rick moment was when he was playing against us at Maine Road. He was running down the wing in front of the Latics' fans, when he dived following a slight challenge and won a free kick. A chorus of boos came from the Latics' fans. Rick was still on the ground and he raised himself onto one elbow, turned to the Latics' fans and winked. The boos turned to a round of applause for his cheek! :grin:

Yes mate. I remember it well. What a :censored: legend for doing that. Brilliant. I've never met him but it would be a dream come true. If anyone knows how I might manage to meet him please give me a shout. I desparately want a photo with him and for him to sign my shirt. Dream come true I tells ya.

Edited by Inspiral_Carpet
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I remember reading an interview, back in the day; I think it was with Sean McCarthy, but I could be wrong. He was asked about the worst dressed player at Latics. He described that Holden was something of a nutcase and then went on to describe Ricky turning up for training wearing only one shoe. When asked why he was wearing one shoe, he replied, "I found it on the way here."

 

 

that mirrors something my dad told me at least once or twice!!!

 

the old fella used to work for the post office and 'tricky' did some sort of opening/guest appearance sort of thing....

 

anyway he turned up wearing different shoes!!!!

 

a fantastic player and i wish we had someone similar... it was so good to see him at various testimonials still, albeit a tad slower, able to whip that cross in....

 

 

his current trademark seems to be his trilby... at a recent half time draw, Franny asked him where his hat was!! tricky replied that he had left it in his caravan..... after match, walking through car park..... motor home parked up with the players cars...complete with trilby on the dash board!!!

 

 

my message to rick.... you helped put a town on the football map, and gave us some of the best football EVER seen at boundary park...... for that... i thank you!!!

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definitely a latics legend - I remember the pitch with the worn patch about a foot away from the line on the left wing in each half

 

I also remember the "goalie" incident - but I thought it was at Boundary Park against Banik Ostrava (or did I dream that)

 

Was it really 15 years ago ?????

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I've never met him but it would be a dream come true. If anyone knows how I might manage to meet him please give me a shout. I desparately want a photo with him and for him to sign my shirt.

 

You mean a photo like this one of me and oafc_ok with Rick, when he was playing for the Isle of Man in 1997.

 

510835968_b1f0e284c8_m.jpg

 

When Rick was based in the Isle of Man he had a job as a physiotherapist at the hospital and a successful private physiotherapy practice. He was also player/coach/physiotherapist for the Island's International team. He also played for Peel and helped them to win trophies and boosted their gates considerably.

 

In the 1998 pre-season tournament Latics played the Isle of Man to determine which team would get the wooden spoon. I bought a Manx decorated wooden spoon, with the intention of getting Rick to present it to Stitch (then Latics' manager), :devilish: but Stitch avoided the embarrassment by bringing himself off the bench to get the only goal of the game. I took the spoon with me each year after that, but we never did as badly again. The Island's only win against a professional club was when Burnley were the victims. :laught16:

 

When Stitch was acting manager at Barnsley, Rick was the physio, and then he was Stitch's Assistant when apointed manager. Even then Rick was still playing for Embsay (where he was born and bred), whenever his Barnsley commitments allowed.

_____________________________________________________________________

When Rick was appointed at Barnsley a Sheffield newspaper interview read:

From early days the Skipton born all-rounder was well aware there is plenty going on outside football. He played rugby union and cricket to semi pro level and was determined to study. "I enjoyed the core sports, tend to think that I could have been successful in any of them.

"Rugby certainly equipped me well for football, I was well used to the stuff dished out by so called hard men of the day," he recalled.

He was offered full-time terms with Burnley as a youngster but insisted on completing a sports science degree at Carnegie College, Leeds, before opting for football.

That achieved, his career really kicked off at Halifax. He moved on and up the leagues to Watford, playing on the opposite wing to former Barnsley boss Glyn Hodges before he switched to Oldham for the first of two spells.

Peter Reid splashed out £90,000 to take him to Manchester City. "I'd admit to the City fans that they didn't see the best of me, though we reached the cup quarter-final," he said. Some small consolation is that last year Holden was in the Man City side that won the Masters' tournament for the over 35s.

At that time he was coaching amateurs and settled on the Isle of Man. The call from Barnsley followed in June this year.

"Oakwell has and always will have a poignant memory for me. It was September 8 1990, Oldham had won 1-0 with Ian Marshall heading in and we went top of the league...we were celebrating.

"I remember it, not because it was the day before my birthday but because Dave Longhurst collapsed and died at York on the pitch. He was 25. We were at Halifax together. It puts everything perspective."

_______________________________________________________________

 

I think I'm right in saying Rick's favourite tipple was Theakston's Old Peculiar, :drinking45: which he had sent over specially to the Isle of Man. Danny Standring and his mates would know as they spent many nights drinking with Rick on the Island in '97.

 

Rick is back on the Island as manager of Peel. This link includes a link to an interview with Rick last month after Peel had beaten St. Mary's 4-2 in a penalty shoot-out to win the Cup for the 30th time, after a poor game. :first:

 

http://www.iomonline.co.uk/isle?articleid=2860490

 

So rickholden27, unless Rick gets a job with Stitch at Huddersfield, you'll have to go to Peel to get that dream photo you want so badly.

 

I once read a story from a Citeh fan, who remembered Rick demolishing Perry Groves' wedding tackle with a strong clearance, then holding both arms up to the crowd in triumph as Groves writhed in agony. So he's remembered for something at Citeh!

 

One other memory of mine. In the build-up to Latics' Wembley League Cup Final, Rick and Andy Rhodes did a TV sketch based on the 'Alas Smith and Jones' TV series, with the pair of them sat facing each other at a table, with a funny script, while trying not to laugh - absolutely brilliant!

 

Is anyone still doubting why Rick is a legend? :imnotworthy:

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Simply one of the most exciting players ever to don the blue shirt. It seems like only yesterday that evertime he got the ball the Chaddy End would shout "skin him Ricky!" and more often than not the full back would end up on his ar5e after Rick had turned him inside out. His crossing was truly sublime; he seemed to be able to pick out the blue shirt no matter how crowded the box was.

 

Who could forget the overhead kick at St. James' Park, or the goal against West Ham just after half time in the League Cup Semi-Final; that was the point I really beleived we were going to Wembley.

 

One of my favourite memories was in his second spell with us when he ran Lee Dixon ragged at BP despite probably being past his best. At the time he was rated as one of the best full backs in the country, but Rick kept skipping past him and generally showboating until Dixon lost the plot with him. They ended up in a heap in front of me in the Paddock and both got sent off as Rick retaliated to an awful challenge. I doubt Dixon had a tougher game in his career than that day at BP.

 

For a full rundown on the eccentric that Rick was, read Neil Redfearn's biography where the full extent of the daft stuff he got up to is revealed. A good one being him turning up for an end of season holiday to Spain wearing slip on shoes, socks, Lycra cycling shorts, a linen shirt and his famous trilby and no other luggage whatsoever!!! :lol:

 

SKIN HIM RICKY!

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The guy was absolutely amazing. His crosses were like fine art, precision, perfect angles and always the right result. He really was a legend and an absolute nutter which is always a plus. I love it when he comes back to B.P. in his silly hat. WE GOT RICKY RICKY RICKY RICKY HOLDEN ON THE WING, ON THE WING, WE GOT RICKY RICKY RICKY RICKY HOLDEN ON THE WING, ON THE WING...RICKY RICKY HOLDEN RICKY HO-LDEN ON THE WI-ING.

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but did Ricky show some great skills while literally on his arse during a certain FA Cup semi-final against Man Utd at Wembley?

 

I recall seeing him land on his backside, but he somehow managed to collect the ball with both legs while sitting on the pitch, juggle it from foot to foot, then flick it up in the air and volly a pass back to the midfield - all while planted on his bottom...

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