Long service award for Roy Butterworth

SHAW’S Roy Butterworth received a long-service award at the Manchester Football Association Grassroots Awards.

The award, presented at the Midlands Hotel, was recognition of a remarkable half century of service as a volunteer at Oldham Athletic.

Roy Butterworth (left) with his award pictured with John McLellan, chair of Manchester County FA, and fellow award winner

While the award was for 50 years’ service, Roy pointed out he is in his 57th season as a helper at Boundary Park where he is the popular matchday press steward and has helped provide match commentaries for Latics’ website since the early 2000s.

Indeed, the commentaries provided by the late Gordon Lawton and Roy became legendary.

It was at the start of the 1963-64 season that Roy first volunteered and helped launch Radio Latics with Bernard Halford, who spent 13 years at the club as assistant secretary and secretary before moving to Manchester City.

Roy, 79, had in fact been a season/ticket holder since 1947 when he was taken to games by his grandfather.

His involvement evolved to become press box steward and then matchday press officer.

Roy, who owned a printing business in Shaw before retirement, described his 57 seasons at Boundary Park as a “rollercoaster”.

He witnessed Latics’ meteoric rise under Jimmy Frizzell and Joe Royle from the fourth to first divisions and becoming founder members of the Premier League.

Equally dramatic has been their demise from the top to bottom divisions and a current period of great instability.

“It has been quite a journey which is why I have decided to write a book and put in print the many stories I can tell,” he said.

Roy added the period under Royle, when Latics spent three seasons in the top flight and reached the final of the Littlewoods Cup and two FA Cup semi-finals as the most successful period in his time watching Latics.

While Royle rightly received the plaudits, Roy pointed out Ian Stott deserved credit describing him as the most successful chairman in his time.

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