The late Jimmy Frizzell certainly touched Oldham Athletic supporters in his own unique way.
Here are a number of memories, penned by supporters, about our iconic manager who passed away last month, aged 79.
I still remember my first game aged nine at Boundary Park in the 1970/71 season when we hammered Newport County 4-0. I was hooked from that day on. Players that stick in the mind are David Shaw, which is my middle and last name, Jim Fryatt for his wild hair and Maurice for his bullet free kicks. Rest in peace, Jimmy.
My memory of Jimmy is from the late 70’s after he had established the team in what was then Division Two after many years in the lower divisions. Despite his relative success in football, Jimmy never lost touch with the ordinary supporter. He telephoned me after I had written a letter to the Oldham Chronicle following an article bemoaning the lack of support for the team. It was a difficult time financially for many in Oldham and I pointed out to the reporter that he was paid to attend games and that the directors of the club didn't have to pay like the rest of us. Also, my two young children had recently done a sponsored walk around the outside of the pitch to raise money for the club. Jimmy understood what it meant for ordinary supporters to find the money to attend games and very kindly offered me three tickets in the Main Stand for the next home game. Not only that, but on the day of the match he came down to the main entrance just before the game to give me the tickets in person. When so many these days bemoan the lack of connection between players and managers and their supporters, I always respected Jimmy because he never forgot his own roots and was never too proud to give time to ordinary Latics fans. He was also a very committed and hard-working footballer who was equally adept in defence or as a goal-scoring forward. Oldham Athletic owe a lot to Jimmy Frizzell.
My memories was watching Jimmy along with Bert lister. Latics striking duo was always good to watch as a youngster, and special memory of Jimmy was as a ball boy. After the ball went out of play for a throw in, I withheld the ball from the opposition and was congratulated by Jimmy. He gave me a pat on the head and I never forgot it.
Peter W Gladwin
When I was a young boy I used to sit on the wall of the paddock to watch the games in the early 60s. During a game against Shrewsbury about 1964/65, Latics broke from defence and were through on the Shrewsbury goal, their keeper left his area at a vast rate of knots, picked the ball up and ran towards the paddock wall chased by a Latics player, from memory it may have been Jimmy. I was knocked from the wall onto the concrete steps breaking my spectacles and the first person there to make sure I was okay was Jimmy Frizzell who helped me to my feet and helped stem my tears. I would have been 4 or 5 at the time and his care and concern has lived with me from that day until now. Jimmy was a true gentleman and a real Latics legend. I still have a season ticket and against Wigan sat in the new North stand paddock where the incident occurred many years ago and it still has happy memories.
I have many memories of a manager who loved attacking football, with a tradition of picking some great goalscorers and some tricky wingers to feed them. Who can forget the days of Jim Fryatt, David Shaw and Keith Bebbington. Cult heroes like Rodger Wylde, Alan Groves and Roger Palmer. Jimmy also had the knack of getting the best from players and an attitude of "never say die". Through the wind and rain of Boundary Park, Jimmy's teams never stopped going forward. Never more so than the 7-1 thrashing of Plymouth Argyle in November 1972. It could have been more in terrible conditions witnessed from the Chaddy End when Ronnie Blair’s effort stuck in the mud on the goal line! Last season’s pitch was Wembley by comparison! Having seen the "new" Oldham Athletic on Tuesday night for the first time, there are some green shoots of recovery showing and a rekindling of the Jimmy Frizzell spirit. Keep it up Steve Robinson and the boys. Keep the Faith!
Jimmy certainly touched the hearts of all supporters and he will be sorely missed.
Fans are encouraged to attend Saturday’s game against Walsall, which has been designated as Jimmy Frizzell Day, to pay respects to the late, great manager.