Comrades Club remembers fallen as derby day shown the red card

AS Britain falls silent on Remembrance Sunday, Shaw Comrades Club will mark Armistice Day by also pulling the plug on the first Manchester derby of the season.

The popular Manchester Road club will hold its annual November 11 event following a remembrance service at the Grade II listed Crompton and Shaw War Memorial on High Street.

Shaw Comrades Club

This year’s commemoration has more poignancy as the nation marks 100 years since the end of the Great War.

As a result, the Comrades Club, formed in 1921 by survivors of the five-year conflict, has decided not to show the City-United clash at the Etihad Stadium (kick-off 4.30pm).

“We always show the top Sky and BT sports events on our large screen and 12 televisions,” said a club spokesperson.

“But as a mark of respect we have taken the decision not to show the football. We have told members and they understand and are in agreement.

“And it would have been more appropriate had all matches on the 11th been re-scheduled.”

The Comrades Club has grown to become one of the town’s best supported entertainment venues boasting a membership of 1,448 paying just £2 per annum and only £1 for over 65s. But it hasn’t always been the case.

Its opening coincided with the founding of the Royal British Legion.

Former service personnel raised money to buy the building by holding numerous local fund-raising events. An unnamed local businessman contributed £2,000 to the purchase,
However, in the following 97 years the club has had a chequered history.

In 1975 the club built a major extension opened by former Oldham, Manchester City and Huddersfield Town star, Les Chapman.

But in the 1980s the club fell on hard times and in 1991 the building was sold to a local businessman George Howarth to enable it to continue as a working local community social club.

In the past 20 years various hard-working committees have rebuilt the club both financially and aesthetically.

It is a regular meeting place for the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, Shaw Anglers, Shaw Comrades bowing teams, Vintage Motor Cycle Club.

Apart from the usual snooker and darts facilities, the club provides top class Saturday night entertainment.

Bar products are provided by Heineken UK and Molson Coors and are sold at competitive prices including £2.30 per branded double spirits.

The club, which recently underwent a £30,000 refurbishment, is still accepting new membership applications for 2019.

“We are confident that the facilities provided are among the best in Oldham,” says the club.

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