One of my volunteer roles at Oldham RLFC is that of club photographer. Murgy has been doing the job for yonks but I joined him a few years back after putting my hand up. It’s fun.

On game days this season — 2019 — the Oldham players emerge from the tunnel and then run or walk towards the centre of the pitch where they find a huge fabric flag bearing the Oldham town crest. The players are often accompanied by escorts; usually children from a local amateur RL club or school.

Players

The big flag takes around 16 pairs of hands to hold it up — a task performed by more local kids — and when the players reach it, they line up along one edge. I think it’s a thing decreed by the RFL

Flag

At one game early in the season I found myself stood near the flag and players, and they all stared at me with a look of, come on then, get on with it. So I took a few shots which weren’t very good because I couldn’t really fit everyone in.

Players line-up

When the whole scenario played out again a few weeks later I had the idea of taking several shots to blend into a panorama. That’s now become the norm.

Players line-up, I stand there taking photos, swivelling my body to get the images I need. The players stand there looking like plus-ones at a wedding when they’re asked to pose for the group shot.

When I’m done I put up a thumb and everyone disperses. I tweet-out the panoramas when complete but they’re really wide and twitter doesn’t do them justice.

Here are the ones so far. Click the images so see them bigger.

Oldham v Keighley Cougars — June 16, 2019

Oldham v Coventry Bears — May 19, 2019

Oldham v Whitehaven — May 5, 2019

I might try and walk along the line of players with my GoPro when they next have kids with them. I may as well record the awkwardness on video too.