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I've recently acquired a book called 'Oldham Athletic Miscellany, Latics Trivia, History, Facts & Stats' by Dave Moore, for the bargain price of £3 on Ebay. It's a really interesting and entertaining read, and must have entailed a vast amount of research, but almost inevitably it isn't 100% accurate throughout...

 

One particular statement by Mr Moore had me wondering: "Before the finances from the Ford Sporting League in 1971, the slope on the ground from the Rochdale Road End to the Chadderton Road End was an amazing 6ft 4.5 inches.When the Ford Stand was eventually built with the winnings, the bulldozers stepped in to level out the playing field". The work couldn't have started until around mid-May, and the pitch would have had to be completely relaid and bedded in by the beginning of August. This seems barely possible to me, especially with the technology and resources available to the club at the time, and I'd always thought the slope was only eliminated when the artificial surface was laid in 1986.

 

So does any of the other veteran supporters among us have any definitive recollections on this matter, or perhaps some  interesting speculations? I was a great fan of the sloping pitch, which enabled us to give some visiting sides a real tanking as they tired when defending at the Chaddy End in the second half in some games.

 

As I said, Mr Moore has written an excellent book, but he definitely slips up occasionally, eg he claims the match against Internacional in February 1975 was arranged, but never took place (page 67)! And did Colin Garwood really represent Scotland at youth level (page 92)?!

 

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2 hours ago, whittles left foot said:

The the slope was levelled out a lot when we put the plastic pitch in 1986/7 season. In fact reduced by more than half according to 'Pine villa & Oldham Athletic a 100 year journey' book.

Yes, remember playing a few times on the plastic, when you could hire it out, and you could feel you were playing up hill towards the rocky  road end. 

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2 hours ago, GrahamHughes said:

We always wanted to play downhill 2nd half attacking the Chaddy ever since I stayed going mid eighties!My grandad always said it sloped!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I concur we have been going down hill  for a number of years now.

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While we're on the subject of books, some of you might not be aware that OWTB is fortunate to host some of @LaticsPete football book reviews he writes over at http://www.programmemonthly.com/

 

They're worth reading, but don't clog up that thread - it's been painstakingly curated by Pete since 2014, ask him questions by all means - but I'd hate it as much as he would if it was taken off topic.

 

They can be found here:

 

 

Thanks.

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5 hours ago, Diego_Sideburns said:
The comparative height of the retaining wall before and after the installation of the plastic pitch illustrates the extent of the slope.
 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/diego_sideburns/50952584472/in/dateposted/

 

 

Fond memories...to be fair I never really noticed much difference between before and after....loved sitting on that Ford Stand paddock wall though when I was a kid👍

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Quite a few games stand out in my memory to illustrate the effect of the sloping pitch. Top of the pile must be the home fixture against Plymouth Argyle on 4 November 1972. We'd taken the lead in this match, but Plymouth came back strongly and a few minutes before the break Jimmy Hinch was put through on goal and blasted a shot past Chris Ogden from the edge of the box, blowing a cheeky kiss towards the Chaddy Enders to celebrate! The second half was just unbelievable - we massacred them playing down the slope, ending up 7-1 winners. We were a better side than Argyll, but they were no mugs, and I've always believed it was the pitch that accounted for the six goal margin. Of course, this argument is invalid if the slope really was removed in 1971, but, along with most other posters in this thread, I believe that didn't happen until 1986.

 

There were numerous other games from this period in which we destroyed opponents when playing towards the Chaddy End in the second half. Examples would be the ones against Notts County (won 5-0), Chester (5-0) and Brentford (4-1) from 1969-70, Brentford (5-1), Newport (4-0), Cambridge (4-1) and Peterborough (3-0) from 1970-71. In both of those Brentford matches, the score at half-time was 1-1. There were plenty of other occasions when we laid siege to the opposition penalty area in front of the Chaddy End in that era, in either the first or second halves, in a way that seldom if ever happened when playing towards the Rochdale Road End.

 

There was another game towards the end of the 1973-74 Championship winning season when we played Bournemouth in a night match. We attacked the Chaddy End in the first half, and I've honestly never seen anything like it - almost the entire 45 minutes was played in the Bournemouth half, and it was like the battle of the Alamo in their penalty area. Incredibly the score at halftime was 1-1, but it could easily have been 10-1. In the second half we struggled to dominate playing up the slope, but somehow managed to score three goals from about three attacks. Final result: 4-2 win.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Summerdeep said:

Quite a few games stand out in my memory to illustrate the effect of the sloping pitch. Top of the pile must be the home fixture against Plymouth Argyle on 4 November 1972. We'd taken the lead in this match, but Plymouth came back strongly and a few minutes before the break Jimmy Hinch was put through on goal and blasted a shot past Chris Ogden from the edge of the box, blowing a cheeky kiss towards the Chaddy Enders to celebrate! The second half was just unbelievable - we massacred them playing down the slope, ending up 7-1 winners. We were a better side than Argyll, but they were no mugs, and I've always believed it was the pitch that accounted for the six goal margin. Of course, this argument is invalid if the slope really was removed in 1971, but, along with most other posters in this thread, I believe that didn't happen until 1986.

 

There were numerous other games from this period in which we destroyed opponents when playing towards the Chaddy End in the second half. Examples would be the ones against Notts County (won 5-0), Chester (5-0) and Brentford (4-1) from 1969-70, Brentford (5-1), Newport (4-0), Cambridge (4-1) and Peterborough (3-0) from 1970-71. In both of those Brentford matches, the score at half-time was 1-1. There were plenty of other occasions when we laid siege to the opposition penalty area in front of the Chaddy End in that era, in either the first or second halves, in a way that seldom if ever happened when playing towards the Rochdale Road End.

 

There was another game towards the end of the 1973-74 Championship winning season when we played Bournemouth in a night match. We attacked the Chaddy End in the first half, and I've honestly never seen anything like it - almost the entire 45 minutes was played in the Bournemouth half, and it was like the battle of the Alamo in their penalty area. Incredibly the score at halftime was 1-1, but it could easily have been 10-1. In the second half we struggled to dominate playing up the slope, but somehow managed to score three goals from about three attacks. Final result: 4-2 win.

 

 

I remember the 7-1 against Plymouth very well. I was 13 at the time and for some strange reason stood on the then open terrace of the RRE. Not only were the six second half goals at the opposite end, it rained pretty well non-stop and I got soaked!!

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Omitted to mention probably the most spectacular example of this phenomenon. This was a Lancashire Senior Cup First Round replay against Great Harwood from the Northern Premier League in 1970-71. We'd almost gone out in the first game at their ground, but survived thanks to a last minute equalizer from (I think) Maurice Whittle. Anyway, there was nothing to choose between the sides in the first half of the replay, and it was 0-0 at the interval. The Latics broke the deadlock with a goal at the Chaddy End ten minutes or so into the second half and the final score was........9-0! 

 

We got to the final of the competition that year, only to lose 3-2 to Rochdale at Spotland.

 

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1 hour ago, singe said:

There is still a significant slope going by this photo, plenty extra seats on the Chaddy side.

https://d3d4football.com/wp-content/uploads/Oldham-North-Stand-Article.jpg

When the North Stand was being constructed there would be the occasional update from the builders on the website.  I remember the slope being mentioned and they had to have higher skirting as the stand approached the Chaddy End.  Nowhere near the 6ft. or so it used to be though.

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It was said that if you laid down flat by the corner flag near the RRE/paddock corner, you couldn't see the corner flag in the Chaddy end/Lookers corner, because the slope wasn't just end to end, but somewhat diagonal as well. Yes, the slope certainly was over 6 feet. I think it's about 2ft to 2ft 6" now.

 

Wasn't it also true that Boundary Park was the only one in the country that was in three places as the boundary lines cut the ground into three? Oldham, Royton and Chadderton? Or have I dreamed that?

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I played at Bacup Borough a couple of times in my youth, the pitch must have been placed in the trough of some local geographic feature. Either that or in a gravity well.

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10 hours ago, Bristolatic said:

It was said that if you laid down flat by the corner flag near the RRE/paddock corner, you couldn't see the corner flag in the Chaddy end/Lookers corner, because the slope wasn't just end to end, but somewhat diagonal as well. Yes, the slope certainly was over 6 feet. I think it's about 2ft to 2ft 6" now.

 

Wasn't it also true that Boundary Park was the only one in the country that was in three places as the boundary lines cut the ground into three? Oldham, Royton and Chadderton? Or have I dreamed that?

 

Quote

 

On 10/7/2012 at 10:07 AM, Harry Dowds Green Shirt said:

There is still a slope to the pitch. Prior to the plastic going down it was 6 foot from the RRE to the CRE. This was too steep for a plastic pitch and was halved so there is still a 3 foot slope.

 

 

Harry should know from using his spirit level on the North Stand. 

 

I'm unsure about the three places, but Ward boundaries have been altered over the years. BP is now in Oldham's Coldhurst Ward, Clayton Playing Fields are in Royton South Ward, and Chadderton North Ward is on the opposite side of Broadway.

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1 hour ago, Matt said:

I played at Bacup Borough a couple of times in my youth, the pitch must have been placed in the trough of some local geographic feature. Either that or in a gravity well.

The whole of the Rossendale valley is in some sort of unique fissure on the space/time continuum.  My parents had to live there (Waterfoot) for my Dad's work for a few years soon after I left Oldham for the bright lights.   Never forgotten going into a local pub, asking for a pint and being told - 'you're not from round here'.  He eventually pulled it reluctantly, not taking his eyes off me for a second, then slamming it down on the bar without a word.  Truly the model for Royston Vasey.

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28 minutes ago, Dave_Og said:

The whole of the Rossendale valley is in some sort of unique fissure on the space/time continuum.  My parents had to live there (Waterfoot) for my Dad's work for a few years soon after I left Oldham for the bright lights.   Never forgotten going into a local pub, asking for a pint and being told - 'you're not from round here'.  He eventually pulled it reluctantly, not taking his eyes off me for a second, then slamming it down on the bar without a word.  Truly the model for Royston Vasey.

I used to go into Kearns of Waterfoot (textile mill) with work. It made Haslingden and Rawtenstall look positively cosmopolitan. 

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2 minutes ago, Magic Mikey said:

I used to go into Kearns of Waterfoot (textile mill) with work. It made Haslingden and Rawtenstall look positively cosmopolitan. 

My Dad, bank manager, had to go there when he was transferred to Haslingden.  They moved back about a minute and a half after he retired.

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44 minutes ago, Andyt84 said:

I work in Haslingden and its one of those places were everybody knows everybody or seems to be related. 

I live in Suffolk.  The finger count is similar...

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6 hours ago, Andyt84 said:

I work in Haslingden and its one of those places were everybody knows everybody or seems to be related. 

 

Ah Haslingden. The only place in England where the head count is twice the population and half the IQ.

 

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1 hour ago, L1onheartNew said:

 

Ah Haslingden. The only place in England where the head count is twice the population and half the IQ.

 

youve not been to cadishead then the inbreeding there is stupifying 

 

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On 2/17/2021 at 5:31 PM, Worcester Owl said:

I remember the 7-1 against Plymouth very well. I was 13 at the time and for some strange reason stood on the then open terrace of the RRE. Not only were the six second half goals at the opposite end, it rained pretty well non-stop and I got soaked!!

Also went to this one. Remember Bobby Collins running the show. 

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