It wasn’t until September 2011 after we were promoted into League One that we first met Oldham Athletic. In all, our first ‘stint’ with ’em (as it were) spans six meetings across the three seasons we stayed at that level. Then we fell back into League Two. And then they came down, tumblin’ after. Our relationship had a little extra needle during the 2019-20 campaign too; ex-Boro’ boss Dino Maamria rocking up at Boundary Park for a short-lived time as their gaffer. And, now, they have the rare honour of going from Premier League to non-league football.
In 1895, a club called Pine Villa came to be; marking the start of the Latics’ tale. The name by which we now know them wasn’t long in coming about either. In fact, it was 1899 when they got their current name – along with professional status. To start, they competed in the Lancashire Combination and Lancashire League. But it was a quick path to the ‘top’. In 1907, the Football League granted them a place. And it then only needed a trio of seasons for them to reach Division One.
It hasn’t always been plain sailing for the Latics. Relegation in 1923 saw them return to Division Two, while a further relegation in 1935 meant third tier football for the first time.
As champions of Division Three North in 1953, the Latics got themselves back into the second tier. It was a short-lived affair; relegation one year later ruining their progress after World War Two. The old regional split in Division Three ended in 1958 and the Latics were deemed only to be worthy of a Division Four place. So, it would have to be a full resurgence if they were to get themselves back into the top flight.
Believe it or not, that actually happened.
The Latics found themselves promoted to Division One in the early 1990s and it was a case of ideal timing. Being in that division meant a spot in the inaugural Premier League; a competition they just about lasted for two seasons. After that, it was a long period of mediocrity. Before the 1990s were out, the club had further struggled; relegated to the third tier in 1997. In the years that followed, Oldham Athletic had two failed bids in the playoffs to get back to the second tier. But they just couldn’t get promoted.
Bad turned to worse with relegation to League Two in 2018. And even worse still was to follow in 2022; the Latics relegated to the National League. They were now a non-league club for the first time in 100+ years.
How to get to Oldham Athletic – Travel Information – Distance: 192 miles
Swinging round to the north of Manchester, the route to Oldham can be done two ways; using the M6 or the A1. Our magical tool tells us the A1 route is a shorter and quicker – but we’ll give you both.
Going north on the A1 is a given. But continue on regardless until you get to Junction 42 of the A1(M). This will take you onto the westbound M62 for Manchester and Leeds. Stay on the motorway for nearly 42 miles until you reach Junction 20 for the A627(M).
Leave the motorway and join the A627(M) for a couple of miles. Exit for the A627/A663 towards Oldham. Take the first exit onto Broadway/A663 towards Royton/Shaw. Nearly half a mile later, turn right onto Hilbre Avenue. Keep left for Hilbre Avenue for Boundary Park.
Taking a slightly longer route around, head north on the M1 and M6 until you come to Junction 21a for the M62 eastbound. Continue along the Leeds-bound carriageway until Junction 12 and exit onto the M60.
In essence, this is still the M62 going about its business; you’ll be rejoining it after about 7.5 miles. At Junction 20, join the A627(M). The directions will now be the same as they would have been if you’d gone via the A1 (see above).
The Latics tell you to use the Hospital Car Park on a matchday, which will cost you £5. There will be a steward there to help if you need it. And, to find the car park with a little less stress, punch OL1 2PA into your Google Maps or other branded sat-nav-a-tron.
Station: OLDHAM MUMPS
Services to: MANCHESTER VICTORIA (for LEEDS)
Oldham Mumps is now on the Metrolink network, with a direct route connecting them with Manchester Victoria. If heading up by rail, there are services from Leeds to Manchester Victoria, which will provide you with a connection to LNER services from Stevenage.
The walk is not a quick one; at nearly two miles, you might prefer to take a taxi. If walking, however, cross Oldham Way and head up Prince Street. Next, go left into Yorkshire Street for 0.2 miles. And then turn right for St Mary’s Way.
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