It’s the dawn of a new era at Oldham Athletic and to mark the first home game under the ownership of the Rothwell family, the club is pleased to confirm plans to mark this special occasion.
With season tickets sales already in excess of 3,700, fans have responded in huge numbers as Latics embark on a significant milestone in our history. This is very much a new beginning for the town as a whole and the club is now urging the local community to get down to Boundary Park on Saturday with arrangements in place to help create a carnival atmosphere.
Latics entertain Dorking Wanderers in the first home game of the season, kick-off 5.20pm. With the game televised live on BT Sport, the club wants to showcase the fantastic support of our town to the nation and beyond.
Fans are invited to gather at 3.30pm at the top of Sheepfoot Lane for a procession towards to ground which begins at 4pm. The front of the procession will be at Cumberland Drive and the back at Rochdale Road, a distance of approximately 120 metres which can be extended if needed.
After a march towards the ground, the procession will end at the mini-roundabout at Westhulme Avenue.
Fans are asked to disperse when they reach the mini-roundabout to allow all supporters through.
The procession will be led by Greenfield Brass Band, along with Chairman Frank Rothwell and his wife, Judith.
Frank has asked the band to play so loud that supporters at the back of the procession can hear and the ladies in the maternity wards at the Royal Oldham Hospital will be distracted from their labours, wishing they could join in!
Oldham’s Deputy Lieutenant, Muzahid Kahn, will be in attendance, along with Amanda Chadderton, the leader of Oldham Council, and Arooj Shah, the former leader of Oldham Council.
Other dignitaries, community leaders and religious leaders of Oldham will include Kashif Ashraf, who secured a place in the Boardroom last season to invite the Rothwell family to the game against Leyton Orient, when this journey began.
Frank says there will be plenty of time to get into Boundary Park before kick-off and listen to a concert by the band and local singer Maddison Peacock, who will sing the National Anthem.
Frank has asked for older and infirm supporters, wheelchair users and parents with young children to join at the back of the procession at the top of Sheepfoot Lane.
Match tickets are available to buy online or in person at the Ticket Office in the Main Stand, off Furtherwood Road.
There will be face-painting available in the Club Shop from 2pm ahead of the procession and up until kick-off with Chaddy the Owl also in store. Face-painting is available for both adults and children. The shop is now fully restocked after another large sale of away shirts over the past week.
Be loud and proud!
Frank welcomes new era banners but does not want signage to mention the past, commenting: “What has happened previously is now history. Don’t dwell on it, let’s move on together. We are on a new journey and in a new era.
“We have a good, strong squad who want to win and a first-class manager who we all love.
“We want a really good overhead photograph of our procession so any Oldhamers who are not there will wish they had been part of this marvellous celebration.
“I want readers of all the Sunday newspapers to think, with this level of love and support, Oldham Athletic will not be in the National League for long.
“There must definitely be no flares or any other fireworks. I want plenty of singing, banners and flat caps, both on the procession and in the ground. However, I do not want to be responsible for anyone getting hurt at our club. If you see someone with a flare, please send me a photograph of the person responsible.
“We will have the world watching us on BT Sport, so let’s be orderly, respectful to everyone and some good-natured fun will not go amiss either.
“Make sure you record the television reports so you can watch our procession when you get home over and over again, and be proud to be a Latics supporter!”
The club again thanks supporters for their tremendous backing in recent weeks and looks forward to getting Boundary Park bouncing on Saturday. There will be stewards managing traffic and safety, so please abide with their requests.
See you at 3.30pm!