Nostalgic look back at local football’s most memorable matches

IN local amateur football, John Gilder scored with his Match of the Day reports which were an eagerly awaited read in the Oldham Evening Chronicle.

Over a period of 22 years, the Chronicle’s amateur football correspondent had more than 650 published until the demise of the newspaper.

A selection featuring what he considers the best 220 – 10 from each season – have been included in ‘John Gilder’s Oldham Evening Chronicle Match of the Day 1995-2017 (Redlig Publishing, £19.95).

And there is considerable local interest as there are a sizeable number involving sides from Royton Shaw and Crompton, some of which no longer exist.

Featured matches include some notable derbies, Cartshaft against High Crompton Victoria and Shaw Athletic versus Shaw FC, both in the Oldham Sunday League, along with Shaw rivals Queen Anne and North Star clashing in the Ashton Sunday League.

There was also Royton Park’s 14-0 demolition of 10-man Oxford Inn, Adam Sutcliffe scoring five in the Tameside League fixture.

There are also matches covered involving Royton Town, Royton Band Club, Junction Royton, Crompton House Old Boys, Crompton Victoria, High Crompton CC, Heyside, Heyside Bulls, Tara Sports, Summit Inn, Bulls Head United, Shaw, Thornham and even the Dog & Duck.

John’s first Match of the Day on September 17,1995 featured Lees and Hey’s 9-0 thrashing of Lapwing Rovers in the first round of the North West Sunday Champion of Champions Cup.

Paul Buckley, a local legend who went on to play semi-professional football, scored four of the goals.

The last match before the Chronicle ceased as a print newspaper was Horseshoe 1, Oddies 14 2 in the Oldham Sunday League, division one shield.

The book covers the 1995-2017 period when the ‘Match of the Day’ feature was introduced alongside his already established news and views from the local scene.

John made sure he kept all his reports in their original form, and this has helped him to create a 250-page, A4 book containing 220 match reports he wrote for the Chronicle.

The book will be of interest to anybody who has played amateur football in Oldham, a nostalgic trip down memory lane.

Volume two, which will be released later in the year, highlights the news, views and often quirky stories from that 1981 to 2017 period when John covered amateur football for the Chronicle.

To order your copy, contact John via email at:

  • The Correspondent has a copy of the book to give away to one lucky reader.

To have a chance of winning answer the following question.

What is the name of the pitches which can be found next to Oldham Athletic’s Boundary Park ground.

Entries can be emailed to or write to Local Communications Ltd., Units 3-4, 45 High Street, Uppermill, Saddleworth, OL3 6HS.

The deadline is Friday, March 5. The judges’ decision is final.




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