Oh When the Blues Go Marching In

David Shaw

Oldham, a post industrial Northern English town on the outskirts of Manchester is home to lower league football team Oldham Athletic, or the 'Latics'. A club with a long and eventful history and with a small but passionate support base. It's fans are local and will regularly battle through bitter weather to support their mighty 'Latics', despite the club's struggles on and off the pitch.There is a unique, exciting and sometimes moving atmosphere at every game due to the closeness of the supporters. This can be accounted for by the nature of Oldham and its history; a deprived ex industrial town where many of the residents survive in a low wage economy. Through this solidarity formed by their combined following of the club, a strong community bond has been formed. These images document the characters in this community and follow a young 'Ultras' supporters group called the Athleticos.

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  • Oldham fans at the local rivalry away - Rochdale.

  • Hulk Hogan (Tony) is wrestled by Police and stewards at Rochdale away.

  • A father and son share a pie before a match at Boundary Park. Oldham is a family club with generations coming through supporting the team.

  • 'The Athleticos'; are a dedicated supporters group who go to all Oldham matches home and away.

  • 'The Athleticos' are made up of people of all ages with the goal of 'bringing back the atmosphere to Boundary Park.' They sing, chant and hold banners and flags through all Oldham matches and have even established with the club an area of the ground dedicated to their group.

  • Football matches particularly in the North of England can get very cold for the un prepared football fan.

  • Laurence, a life long fan awaits to enter the stadium to see Fleetwood v Oldham.

  • George, one of "The Athleticos' most passionate members watches Oldham loose 7-0 to MK Dons.

  • Many supporters of Oldham including 'The Athleticos' travel across country despite what the possible score line will be.

  • Keith Head, 49, from Chadderton in Oldham has been going to Latics since he was 11 years old which was “since I was allowed to go'. He travels to nearly every match and has done so for most of his life.

  • Despite the recent troubles at the club the fans will loyally support the team regardless. Oldham Athletic is rooted in its community which is what creates the passionate involvement by their supporters. Oldham fans and players cheer on Oldham goal.

  • Oldham's ground, much the same as Oldham itself is a place with a long and eventful history centred around the British industrial boom. Now with much of the industry gone much of Oldham town has gone through bouts of deprivation.

  • Many Oldham fans make a full day of going to see the team play. They will often meet in the pub hours before the match.

  • Boundary Park – Oldham Athletic's ground since 1904.

  • Laurence watches on.