RUGBY LEAGUE’S QUALITY STREET GANG 13 – TERRY OGDEN PT 5

Pt 1  His Early Rugby Career

Pt 2 He Recounts The Story Of Salford’s Rebirth

Pt 3 He Relates The History Surrounding The Willows Social Club

Pt 4 He Remembers Players From The ‘Team Of Stars


Part 5 His Post Rugby Life

The career of a professional rugby league player is, in itself, very short, but the tenure of any one of them, at any one club, is usually considerably shorter, so Terry’s seven seasons at The Willows was well above those of many, including his own spells at his previous clubs.  That it culminated with a Challenge Cup Final, at Wembley, was absolutely wonderful, as it would for any player, but that it came so close to his departure, was indeed a considerable surprise, even to him.

“I really had not expected anything like that to happen so soon after the big day, but sometimes events take over, and I was suddenly somewhat less in favour than previously, and now playing in the ‘A’ team.  I realised then that my chances of returning to the first team had become extremely slim.

“I did get the chance of going to Rochdale but decided against it; I’d had enough by this time.  In particular, I was finding myself missing the significant notoriety, and even the little adulation, which playing for Salford had brought.  It had gone out of my life and that made me want to try and replace it with something else.

“I did try my hand at coaching, very briefly from 1970 to 71, with Salford University team, but when that came to an end so too did my time in rugby league, and I moved my life on in a different direction.”

That turned out be with horse-riding in which he led cross-country team-chases and eventing.

“I was also getting involved in renovating properties, including what is now my own home, which we, for one spell, turned into an hotel, so it has been only in the last five years or so that I have regained an interest, once more, in the game.  I recently joined the Oldham Former Players’ Association and have now got involved with them a little bit, with their monthly meetings.

“Because the Salford team of my era consisted of players from all over the country, they have all gone their separate ways and we don’t have the basis on which to form one for us.”

It is probably a little surprising that someone, who had been away from the game for as long as Terry was, has rekindled any interest in it at all, but circumstances can often conspire to bring about the most surprising of outcomes.

“My grandson became interested in the game and joined Saddleworth Rangers before later joining the police force, so obviously I went along to watch him.  He now plays for the Great Britain Police side and had it not been for the pandemic scuppering the chance, he would have toured Australia back in 2020. Then recently, out of the blue, I got a phone call from Alan Grice informing me of the new Heritage system which had been recently established by Salford, and this inspired me to make a few return visits here.

“The happiest years of my life were when I was playing for Salford, which led to a very great fondness for the club.  The Snape brothers, Brian and Keith, were marvellous people to be involved with.  Keith was a lovely person, and Brian just had so much energy and enthusiasm for the club.  It was so wonderful to have been a part of it all.”

RUGBY LEAGUE’S QUALITY STREET GANG (7) – BILL SHEFFIELD PT 4

                                            Part 4 – HIS POST SALFORD CAREER

Bill may have decided that the dispiriting events of the Christmas ‘A’ team match at Warrington was to have been his last game, but there were those who tried to talk him around to playing again.  First of these were Leigh, who invited him down to training, shortly after he had left Salford, and, initially, he was quite open to accepting their invitation.

“I said I would go down the following Wednesday, which was my one clear night, only to be told that they didn’t train on Wednesdays, so that put paid to it all.

“Then a few years later Frankie Barrow, former St Helens fullback, was involved in setting up a new amateur club, Thatto Heath, and invited me to join the committee, which I did.  We started off at Thatto Labour Club, who were sponsoring us.

“It wasn’t long before I was pulling my boots on once more and turning out for them.  Even when I was forty-two, I was still playing but the aches and pains were taking their toll by this time, so I turned all my attention to my work on the committee.  I continued with that for a few seasons, until Frank left to coach first Swinton, and then Oldham, and a new committee came in which took the club in a different direction, which led me to leave.

“Even then it wasn’t the end of things because Frank came back with plans to set up yet another club, Portico Vine, and I, and former Warrington second row forward, Brian Gregory, were appointed joint coaches, which role we took up once we had each gained our coaching qualification.

“This gave a new impetus to my involvement, and I was turning out quite regularly in the team right throughout my fifties, until, at the age of sixty-two I finished completely.

“By this time, my son, Christopher, had joined the club playing in the centre, and I then had the greatest pleasure of playing alongside him in the team, which was a really nice way to finish my rugby career.

“Christopher became a detective in the Cheshire Police and went on to play for Great Britain Police Rugby League with whom he travelled to many countries, to play for them.

“On a final note my grandson is following our love of Rugby League and has just gained a scholarship with St Helens Rugby League Club.  Who knows maybe one day he could be playing at Salford.”

Part 1 – HIS EARLY CAREER

Part 2 – MEMORIES OF HIS TIME WITH SALFORD

Part 3 – HE REMEMBERS HIS SALFORD TEAMMATES

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