Mount Pleasant developments leave lasting legacy to duo’s reign

Bulldogs fans now enjoy excellent facilities after improvements at Mount Pleasant.
Bulldogs fans now enjoy excellent facilities after improvements at Mount Pleasant.

Over the two decades during the reign of Kevin Nicholas and fellow director Andy Winner, Batley’s Mount Pleasant ground has changed significantly.

Every area of the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium has undergone major improvement or redevelopment and Mr Nicholas has revealed further improvements are planned as they aim to bring the ground up to Super League standard.

Rugby has been played at Mount Pleasant since 1880, under the old Northern Union.

There is some dispute as to whether The Mount or Wakefield’s Belle Vue holds the title of the oldest ground to have staged a game.

Mr Nicholas explained: “The first game of rugby at Batley was played in October 1880, while the first game at Wakefield was in April 1880.

“When the split came, Batley’s first game of rugby league was in 1895 against Hull, two weeks before Wakefield’s first home game.

“So we can claim to be the oldest ground where rugby league has been played by a couple of weeks and the second oldest ground where rugby has been played.

“When me and Andy took over the stand behind the posts was already built after help from the City Challenge but we have significantly developed that so the area now includes offices, Ron’s Lounge and hospitality boxes.

“The Glenn Tomlinson Stand has undergone significant redevelopment with bars, a kitchen and the Bryan Cooney Suite underneath and we have greatly improved each area of terracing at the ground.

“We will leave a legacy where people are happy to come to Mount Pleasant and watch sport in comfortable surroundings, while we also now have the ability to generate income away from matchdays.

“We would like to finish the only area of the ground not developed with another stand but over the years grants that were available have dried up, so any funding, we have to generate ourselves.”