In the first in our new series D3D4 asks the fans of each club to vote for their top 10 players of all time. Oldham Athletic Correspondent Chris Stringer has compiled your votes and here are the results…
Oldham Athletic Legends – The Top 10 All-Time Players
10) Gunnar Halle (1990-1996) – 212 appearances, 21 goals
Born in Oslo in 1965, Halle became popular with the Oldham fans when he joined the Latics for £280,000 in 1991, acting as an attacking full back or winger. With 25 caps for Norway whilst at Boundary Park, he is he most capped player to have ever worn an Oldham shirt and scored the goal to keep Oldham in the Premier League in 1993.
9) Alan Groves (1973-77) – 163 appearances, 14 goals
Groves was a strong and aggressive winger who became a real crowd pleaser. He scored in his first three appearances for Oldham and went on to rarely lose his place in the team. He joined Oldham from Bournemouth in 1974. Unhappy with the move, Groves kicked the ball at Trevor Hartley (the Bournemouth manager) after scoring against them.
His career came to an abrupt end when he tragically died of a heart attack in 1978, leaving behind a widow. His testimonial match was played at Boundary Park.
8) Earl Barrett (1987-91) – 221 appearances, 9 goals
Earl Barrett spent much of his first season on the bench but when introduced fitted perfectly into any system played and went on the play in 135 consecutive matches for the Latics. He was lightning quick and the centre half turned right back captained the side that won promotion to the Premier League in 1990-91. He was capped by England 3 times and scored in the famous 6-0 win over West Ham in the League Cup Semi Final first leg in 1990. His move to Villa in 1992 for £1.7m is still a record sale for the club to this day.
7) Eric Gemmell (1947-53)– 218 appearances, 120 goals
With 120 goals in 218 appearances, Gemmell had a superb scoring record for Oldham. In January 1952, he scored 7 goals in an 11-2 win over Chester at a snowy Boundary Park – the only Oldham player to ever score 7 in a game. He held the goal scoring record for Oldham until 1989 when Roger Palmer beat his record.
6) Rick Holden (1989-91 & 1993-94) – 189 appearances, 28 goals
Holden was a lightning quick and exciting winger who proved to be key in Oldham’s success during the ‘Pinch me’ era – ever present in the clubs first season back in the premier league – after he joined from Watford in 1989. Following a disagreement with Joe Royle, Holden was transferred to Manchester City but did eventually return to Latics.
5) Frank Newton (1907-09) – 86 appearances, 47 goals
Frank Newton is a lesser known player to most Oldham Fans and it’s no real surprise when you consider than he started playing for Oldham 110 years ago. When looking at the history books, it’s hard to deny huis talent. In 86 appearances for Oldham he scored 47 goals in 86 appearances, with 30 in his first season (36 games). For unknown reasons, he was known as ‘Mary Ann’ on the pitch.
4) Denis Irwin (1986-89)– 204 appearances, 7 goals
Irwin’s time at Oldham is often overlooked due to his successful time at Manchester United but with 167 appearances for the Latics, he established himself as one of the best full-backs outside of the top division.
He holds the record for the largest fee (£625,000) ever acquired by Oldham Athletic – an additional £75,000 was paid for him when he played his 3rd game for Ireland (against Wales).
His pace and pinpoint crossing made the right back a dangerous player for the Latics. He is also the only player to have been capped at all 6 levels by Ireland. He went on to play at the very highest level for Manchester United.
3) Bobby Johnstone (1960-64)– 158 appearances, 37 goals
On his debut for the club, a crowd of 17,116 saw the inside forward bring flair and excitement to the team in a match against Exeter City. This was following a season of sub-4000 crowds.
His only ever penalty miss also came against Exeter. Though not a prolific goal scorer himself, he was always likely to be involved in the play making. It is said that Johnstone transformed the club.
Bernard Halford, assistant secretary at the time, recalls how popular he was: “On match days the phone never stopped ringing. ‘Is Johnstone playing?’ Bobby might have been sitting in my office with his ankle in plaster, but I had to say he was playing, otherwise the fans wouldn’t have turned up.”
2) Andy Ritchie (1987–95 & 1997-99)– 282 appearances, 107 goals
Ritchie was an assured striker who was confident on the ball. After scoring 20 in his first season, he proved to be a popular player. The ex-Leeds and Manchester United player went on to score 107 goals for Oldham and later went on to manage the club
1) Roger Palmer (1980-93)– 536 appearances 157 goals
“OOOHH ROGER PALMER!”
With 157 goals, Palmer is Oldham’s all time top scorer.
Ever consistent through his 13 years at Boundary Park, he truly is one of the greats – the best to wear the shirt.
His time at Oldham saw great success, with appearances in a league cup final, FA Cup Semi Finals and, in his testimonial season, saw Oldham return to the top flight of English football.
He has recalled one of his favourite moments as his hat-trick against Manchester City, so here it