Oldham Athletic fans call for ‘incredible’ Chairman to be knighted

Oldham fans are calling for their Chairman, Frank Rothwell, to be honoured after completing his second transatlantic row in three years to raise money for Alzheimer’s research.

The 73-year-old raised over £300,000 and broke his own Guinness World Record for the ‘oldest person to row the Atlantic’. Now fans are preparing to celebrate his achievement at the National League side’s next home match against Kidderminster on Saturday, when tickets will be reduced to just £1.

Rothwell previously held the record for completing the same challenge in 2021, when he raised £1.1 million for the Alzheimer’s Research UK charity.

A jubilant Rothwell said: ”Rowing across the Atlantic Ocean on my own has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I’ve done a lot! A year ago, I was deciding whether I would take on this epic row for the second time, but I knew I would regret not taking the opportunity to raise funds and awareness for Alzheimer’s Research UK.”

Rothwell has had a positively transformative effect on Oldham Athletic, overseeing a multi-million pound investment which has seen the club settle its debts and mount a serious promotion challenge.

Lifelong Oldham fan Paul Mellor, 50, said: ”The man is an enigma, a hero, a saviour and more.

”He has put himself and his family bang in the heart of the community and is so inclusive to all… I suspect Frank’s legacy will be that he is the saviour of Oldham Athletic.

”If there is any justice in the world, Frank will be knighted this year. The man truly deserves it.”

Mellor is not alone among Latics fans in suggesting Rothwell deserves an honour. Mark Hughes, 30, said: ”This achievement deserves some sort of major recognition. I feel the man is incredible. Hopefully his achievements are recognised and we have Sir Frank Rothwell above the Boundary Park door when we are back into the football league.”

The inspirational grandad completed the 3000 mile feat in 64 days, 7 hours and 53 minutes, setting off from La Gomera in the Canary Islands on the 13th of December, and finishing on the 15th of February in Antigua.

Emma Whitcombe, Deputy Chief Executive at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: ‘’Frank overcame the challenges of the ocean, and we are in awe of his determination to complete this adventure.

‘’Frank’s support has never been more important. Dementia affects almost one million people in the UK and tragically not one of them will survive. It’s the generosity of people like Frank and his supporters that will take us one step closer to a cure.’’

Credit: World’s Toughest Row

The club are planning to give Frank a big ‘hero’s return’ this Saturday and with the cut-price tickets they hope to fill Boundary Park.

To donate towards Frank’s funding for Alzheimer’s Research UK, visit: Frank Rothwell’s World’s Toughest Row Atlantic Challenge 2023 – JustGiving.

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