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Oldham Athletic

“However, finishing third in the Championship equals Hull’s best ever finish in the league – 1909-10, when they finished third in the old Second Division, missing out on second place by mere goal difference (of 6), with only two clubs being promoted.”

Oldham were the side promoted after finishing second on goal difference, and they went on to finish 7th in the old First Division in 1910-11, 9th in 1912-13, 4th in 1913-14 and 2nd in 1914-15, before the 3-season interruption brought about by World War 1.

In 1914-15, Oldham finished just one point behind league champions, Everton (although with a inferior goal average). Oldham also reached the FA Cup semi-finals in 1912-13, losing to league runners up and eventual FA winners, Aston Villa.

Oldham struggled in the First Division after the war, finishing 17th, 19th and 19th in the first three seasons (1919-1922) before being relegated in the fourth season, 1922-23.

Oldham did not play in the top flight again until they had a brief spell in the Premier League from 1991 to 1994. Coincidentally, their league record in those three seasons was remarkably similar to that in their four seasons in the First Division immediately after World War 1, finishing 17th and 19th in the first two seasons (1991-1993) before being relegated in 1993-94.

Who knows what Oldham might gone on to achieve had league and cup football not been interrupted by World War 1?

Instead, Oldham have to date won virtually nothing, not even the Football League Trophy. Okay, they went up as Second Division Champions in 1990-91, and have won third tier titles a couple of times, but apart from that ….

They have only reached the FA Cup semi-finals on a further two occasions in 1989-90 and 1993-94, losing both times to Manchester United, who went on to win the Cup on each occasion.

Their one appearance in the League Cup Final saw a narrow defeat to Nottingham Forest, also in 1989-90 (while still in the second tier).

War has many unforeseen consequences – perhaps Oldham’s failure to win a major trophy is one of them.

(First posted on Tony Kempster’s Non-League Forum)


3 thoughts on “Oldham Athletic

  1. I went back to Soccerbase and found Oldham’s last two results for the 1914-15 season:

    20 April 1915 – Oldham 1 Burnley 2
    24 April 1915 – Oldham 0 Liverpool 2

    They lost their last two games at home, to the sides that finished 4th (Burnley) and 13th (Liverpool).

    Nerves or what? Until those last two games, Oldham had only lost one league game at home all season.

    Everton’s last two games were:

    17 April 1915 – Man City 0 Everton 1
    26 April 1915 – Everton 2 Chelsea 2

    By the time Everton played Chelsea, Oldham had already completed all their fixtures, and thrown away the title. Oddly enough, Everton won the title off the back of their away form, winning 25 of their 46 points away from home. The champions having a better away record than home record cannot have happened very often since 1888.

    (First posted on Tony Kempster’s Non-League Forum)

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