Batley has been thrown into the national spotlight thanks to the success of the town’s rugby league club.
Batley Bulldogs have overcome huge odds to qualify for the Middle Eights section of their competition, which will now see them come up against Super League big guns Leeds Rhinos, Salford, Huddersfield Giants and Hull KR.
Hundreds of Bulldogs supporters travelled to Swinton last Sunday to witness history as Batley won 62-24 to finish third in the Kingstone Press Championship, above several highly fancied clubs.
Proud chairman Kevin Nicholas believes the club’s achievements can be celebrated by the whole town.
He said: “For anyone who was at Swinton, last Sunday will remember it for the rest of their lives and in years to come people will be able to say ‘I was there’.
“I would say this is the greatest achievement in the club’s history and certainly up there with reaching the Grand Final and winning the Northern Rail Cup.
“We have come up against full-time teams and others with bigger budgets but have finished third after 23 rounds.
“I hope the people of Batley will enjoy this occasion and get up to watch us in what are exciting times.”
Batley will also receive a financial boost thanks to prize money for reaching the Middle Eights, with that set to increase the higher the Bulldogs finish in the table.
Mr Nicholas added: “The increased finances will allow us to have a little bit of a comfort zone.
“We will be looking at the structure and hopefully improve the club, the facilities and the ground. We have set ourselves up in a financially sound position.
“Next year will be the 20th season of me as chairman and Andy Winner a director and this achievement has invigorated everyone at the club and we are very optimistic about the future of Batley RLFC.”