Oldham captain Gareth Owen to retire aged 29

Drew Darbyshire

Oldham captain Gareth Owen has announced he will retire from rugby league at the end of the season.

The 29-year-old hooker has captained Oldham for five seasons, making 153 appearances for his hometown club.

Owen will play his final game for Oldham when their Championship campaign comes to an end at Dewsbury on September 19.

“I made the decision privately a few weeks ago,” Owen said. “I could have done another two seasons but my body was telling me it was time to call it a day.

“Despite relegation, I leave with head held high – 38 Super League games for Salford and then captain of the club I supported as a boy, Oldham, for five years.

“I owe a lot to Oldham for giving me that opportunity. I’m an Oldham lad and to captain Roughyeds for so long was a massive honour.

“It’s been an absolute honour to captain Oldham for the last five years or so but I think the time is right for me to call it a day.

“I’ve played with some of the best groups of lads I could have ever wished for and for that I am forever grateful. I want to say a massive thank you to every player, coach and staff member that I’ve played with or for.

“I’ve enjoyed every second and I’ve achieved everything I wanted to from playing Super League to captaining the club I’ve always supported from being a young lad.

“Although this season has been far from how I wanted it to end, the time is right for me to move on to the next chapter.”

Owen came through the ranks at Salford where he made 38 first team appearances before joining boyhood club Oldham in 2015.

The Roughyeds have been relegated from the Championship this season and will play in League 1 next year as they aim to gain promotion back to the second tier.