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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 January, 2005, 17:26 GMT
Henry remembers FA Cup adventures
By Pete Oliver

Oldham's Boundary Park home
"It's just like it used to be," they are saying in Oldham.

A decade on from the glory days of Joe Royle, the feel-good factor is back at Boundary Park.

Twice FA Cup semi-finalists and once down to the last two in the League Cup within the space of five years at the start of the 1990s, Oldham were everyone's favourite underdog.

The Lancashire club has been through the mill since, slipping down the divisions from the Premiership to League One and almost going bust a year ago.

But thanks to an FA Cup shock over neighbours Manchester City to set up Sunday's fourth-round clash against Bolton, the good times are back again.

"I've got great memories of the FA Cup," said Nicky Henry, a midfield favourite from the Royle era.

Bolton won't be in for an easy ride
Nicky Henry
"In '94 we were in the semi-final at Wembley and only 50 seconds away from a Cup final before Mark Hughes volleyed into the top corner.

"Only a certain type of player can do that sort of thing, and against the big teams you only get one chance to beat them."

As in 1990, Oldham and Henry lost to Manchester United in a replay but the scale of the achievements the Latics enjoyed is not lost on Henry now he has hung up his boots.

"When you were there at the time, you don't realise how much we did, how far we came," the 35-year-old, who is now managing Conference side Scarborough, told BBC Sport.

"We went from a little club to winning the First Division championship, surviving in the Premiership for three years, and getting to those semi-finals and the final of the League Cup.

"You could appreciate it a lot more now. At the time I was a young lad and it was my job. But they were great times and I have fond memories.

"I still keep in touch with Joe and Willie (Donachie) and a lot of the players, and I've got a soft spot for Oldham. It was such a homely club."

So much so that when the club headed for administration last season, fans and former players pitched in to keep the Latics alive until new owners were found.

Nick Henry (left) holds off Bryan Robson
Henry holds off Bryan Robson in the 1990 FA Cup semi-finals
"I played in a benefit match which was organised in about two weeks between the team that won the First Division and the current team," Henry said.

"That just shows the affinity they had, and how much the players appreciated what the supporters did."

The spirit evidently still remains, with Henry being invited back for Sunday's sell-out clash on his old stamping ground as a guest of the club.

Other commitments mean he cannot be there. But the former Latics trainee, who went on to play over 300 games for the club, will be anxious to find out if Brian Talbot's side can repeat one of Oldham's past successes.

Royle¿s men won a quarter-final at Bolton's old Burnden Park 11 years ago thanks to a goal scored by Darren Beckford.

This time Bolton will be overwhelming favourites to progress, but Henry is warning them to take nothing for granted.

"They won't be in for an easy ride," he added. "And the crowd will certainly help Oldham, like they helped us.

"They are quite close to the pitch and when you come down the steps onto the pitch they are either side of you and certainly let you know how they feel.

"Oldham knocked out City in the last round and I don't think Sam (Allardyce) will send out an under-strength side.

"Liverpool made that mistake and you can't do it. The FA Cup is the only thing Bolton can win so I think they will be going for it.

"If they play their best they will win - but as it's the FA Cup you never know."



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