Boults back to where it started

Date published: 03 April 2014

WHEN the Oldham team bus rolls into the Provident stadium on Sunday, Scott Naylor won’t be the only one taking a trip down Memory Lane.

Jason Boults was a boyhood Bradford fan — and his sporting dream came true when at 16 he signed pro forms for the club.

“There was nobody prouder than my grandad,” said the long-serving Roughyeds prop. “He took me to my first Bradford game when I was seven. For years we went everywhere watching Northern, as they were then. When I signed he was made up.”

Now 30 and in the twilight of a career that took him from Bradford to Halifax then Oldham, Boults has fond memories of where it as he looks ahead to the Roughyeds’ fourth round Tetley’s Challenge Cup tie.

“It was a brilliant apprenticeship,” he recalled. “We often played curtain-raisers at Odsal in front of huge crowds and Sky TV cameras and I like to think it gave me a great grounding in the game.

“In those days the first team used us academy lads as tackle bags in training — and many was the time I would take a big hit from a certain Scott Naylor.”

Boults lives in Halifax but works in Bradford, where a lot of his colleagues are Bulls fans.

“They’ve been giving me stick all week,” he said. “I’ve told them not to expect to get all their own way on Sunday. I think we’ll do all right as long as we have a good go at them.”

Boults’s 178th game for Oldham will be a special one: his parents, brother and grandad will be in the stand, not to mention lots of his workmates - who will be rooting for the opposition.

“I’m looking forward to it — and come Sunday I’ll be just as excited as I was when I was a kid.”