Oldham Athletic mourns deaths of legends Jim Fryatt and Peter Phoenix

OLDHAM Athletic has lost two club legends following the deaths of Jim Fryatt and Peter Phoenix.

Fryatt, a striker who became a cult figure at Boundary Park in the early 1970s, died at his home in Las Vegas aged 79.

Bought from Blackburn Rovers for £8,000 in February 1970, Fryatt was an instant hit scoring 11 goals in 16 games in the remainder of the season.

The Southampton-born Fryatt enjoyed a magical 1970-71 season scoring 24 league goals in the Fourth Division promotion campaign.

He formed a lethal strike partnership with David Shaw who scored 23 league goals that season as they also claimed the Ford Sporting League that memorable campaign.

Fryatt, renowned for his heading ability as well as his distinctive sideburns, scored 42 goals in 81 appearances before leaving for Southport in November 1971.

Towards the end of his career, Fryatt spent several summers playing in the North American Soccer League, including a spell at Las Vegas Qucksilver who he later managed.

And it was in Las Vegas where Fryatt had been a resident since 1976 where he worked initially in a casino and later maintaining machinery at a golf club.

He kept a watchful eye on Latics from America and sent them a good luck message before their FA Cup, fifth-round tie against Everton in 2013, a game he watched live on television.

Fryatt’s son Ed, born when his father played for Latics, became a successful professional golfer who played in two majors. He tied for 24th place in the 1997 US Open and also competed in the 2000 US PGA Championship.

Phoenix died aged 83 after a lengthy battle with dementia.

The left winger/midfielder made 178 appearances for Latics between 1957-62, scoring 31 goals.

Pheonix was at Manchester City as a youngster but opted to serve as an apprentice joiner before returning to the professional game with Latics aged 21.

Joining from non-league Tamworth, he was described as a quick, left winger who had a fierce shot and noted for his high work rate.

Phoenix was the team’s 14 goal top scorer in 1958-59 and later appeared alongside Jimmy Frizzell, Bobby Johnstone and Bert Lister.

He was prominent in the 1962 FA Cup run when they eventually lost 2-1 at home to Liverpool in front of a 42,000 crowd.

Phoenix, who was born in Urmston, was transferred to Rochdale in October 1962 as part of a deal which brought Colin Whitaker to Boundary Park.

He was still playing beyond his 50th birthday in local leagues due to his huge love for the game.

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