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Press photo - Oldham Athletic tour to Rhodesia 1967
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Press photo - Oldham Athletic tour to Rhodesia 1967

 
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Pete’s Picture Palace
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Joined: 19 Feb 2013
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Location: Wallington Surrey

PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 3:52 pm 
Post subject: Press photo - Oldham Athletic tour to Rhodesia 1967
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I do love a press photo with a story to tell.

The one above shows the touring Oldham Athletic squad to Rhodesia in July 1967, the players include the great Jimmy McIlroy, player-manager, the balding Bob Ledger at the back, OAFC record appearance holder Ian Wood far right, and future manager Jimmy Frizzell moving along the front line.

But it also shows Latics' chairman Ken Bates, with familiar beard, and Prime Minister of Rhodesia, the Rt Hon Ian Smith. And there's the nub of the story.

Mr Bates had business interests round the world including Rhodesia but the country had declared UDI from Britain a year or two earlier (I remember Mr Smith meeting our Prime Minister Harold Wilson on HMS Tiger at one point), and relations were very poor between the two countries. In fact Britain did not recognise the state as it stood, saying its status was actually illegal. The subject was raised in the House, but there was nothing the government could do about a "tour by private citizens" being made and Ken Bates, being Ken Bates, saw the opportunity which of course wouldn't have hindered his business interests by one iota.

During the tour, Oldham played 9 matches in this country and a further 2 in neighbouring Malawi, winning 10 in all and losing just one.

But it all ended in tears as McIlroy departed mid-season, Bates relinquished the chair for a seat on the board before leaving completely with money owed and Athletic were relegated from Division Three. Bates had funded some big changes at Boundary Park, including the nation's first hospitality boxes, and had allowed McIlroy to make some quite hefty signings. But sadly it didn't work out.

A photo with a story. Let me know if interested. Cheers!
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nutfield priory



Joined: 20 Oct 2014
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:48 pm 
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Pete

Surprised you can mention Bob Ledger in your piece being a Palace supporter. This is a man who scored a second half hat trick on the last day of the season against Palace to deny them becoming 1963/64 Division 3 champions. Palace still went up though as runners up to Coventry City
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Pete’s Picture Palace
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:52 pm 
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nutfield priory wrote:
Pete

Surprised you can mention Bob Ledger in your piece being a Palace supporter. This is a man who scored a second half hat trick on the last day of the season against Palace to deny them becoming 1963/64 Division 3 champions. Palace still went up though as runners up to Coventry City


Still gives me the shivers!

Crying or Very sad
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