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Any memories ?


Academy Player
Oct 17, 2022
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Of Orrell RU when they were at their best. Did you watch your team play there ?. I live in Wigan. I find it hard to accept that they are playing at St John Rigby college(my daughter went there).
I remember them having a decent side in the late 80s / early 90s, I'm not sure if that counts as them at their best. IIRC Dewi Morris was the only big-name player they had, they gave the impression of a club relying on homegrown talent or ambitious players from lower placed local clubs. All IIRC, they were coached a guy called Des Seabrook, who always seemed to wear a wide brimmed hat and had a big prop called Sammy Southern and a hard as nails second row called Bob Kimmins, who commentators were fond of telling us was a brickie.

I'm pretty sure I saw them play live at my local club (<---------) in the mid 2000s, during their slide down the pyramid, with Simon Mason turning out for them. I remember it seemed surreal to be watching a team I'd grown up on the TV playing against the team I'd grown up playing for.

While their demise was sad (as with other proud northern clubs that now reside further down the pyramid, if at all), they're part of the reason that I struggle to find too much sympathy for clubs that give themselves to wealthy individuals on the promise of riches. It makes a great cautionary tale.
When I started playing rugby at the age of 10 in 1973, the first game I went to see was at Waterloo, but the second was Orrell, and for some reason they captured my heart. For the next 5 or 6 years, Saturday afternoons were about watching Orrell and Lancashire, until the joys(?) of the fairer sex and the need to get a part-time job to pay for dates with the previously mentioned creatures, altered my Saturday habits.

Billy Lyon, John Carleton, Barry Fishwick, Phil Moss, Peter Williams, Dave Gullick, Will Aspden, etc etc heroes all.

Back then I used to collect autographs, and I think I was the first person to ever ask John Carleton for his, as I remember running on the pitch at the end of his debut, thrusting my book in front of him and asking him to sign. He did, but as he took the pen and book from my hand, he said, "Who? Me?" He was genuinely surprised that anyone would ask him.

It's so sad to see where Orrell are now, one of the victims of the change to professionalism.