A nostalgic look back at local football’s memorable matches

IN local amateur football, John Gilder scored with his Match of the Day reports which were an eagerly awaited read in the Oldham Evening Chronicle.

Over 22 years, the Chronicle’s amateur football correspondent had more than 650 published until the demise of the newspaper.

A selection featuring what he considers the best 220 – 10 from each season – have been included in ‘John Gilder’s Oldham Evening Chronicle Match of the Day 1995-2017 (Redlig Publishing, £19.95).

John Gilder

There is considerable local interest as there are a sizeable number involving Saddleworth sides, some of which no longer exist.

Uppermill, Diggle FC, Springhead and Moorside feature as do the likes of Greenfield Cricket Club, Waterhead Borough and Athletico Austerlands, the latter losing 10-0 at Parkside in the Oldham Sunday League Challenge Cup.

Indeed, John’s first Match of the Day on September 17,1995 featured a local side as it was Lees and Hey’s 9-0 thrashing of Lapwing Rovers in the first round of the North West Sunday Champion of Champions Cup.

Paul Buckley, a local legend who went on to play semi-professional football, scored four of the goals.

The last match before the Chronicle ceased as a print newspaper was Horseshoe 1, Oddies 14 2 in the Oldham Sunday League, division one shield.

The book covers the 1995-2017 period when the ‘Match of the Day’ feature was introduced alongside his already established news and views from the local scene.

John made sure he kept all his reports in their original form and this has helped him to create a 250-page, A4 book.

Volume two, which will be released later in the year, highlights the news, views and often quirky stories from 1981 to 2017.

To order your copy, contact John via email: johngilder@btopenworld.com

• The Independent has a copy of the book to give away to one lucky reader. To have a chance of winning, just answer the following question:

What is the name of the pitches which can be found next to Oldham Athletic’s Boundary Park ground?

Entries can be emailed to competitions@localcommunications.co.uk or write to Saddleworth Independent, Units 3-4, 45 High Street, Uppermill, Saddleworth, OL3 6HS.

The deadline is Friday, March 5, 2021. The judges’ decision is final.

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