Crown Flatt

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Crown Flatt
Tetley stadium.jpg
LocationDewsbury, West Yorkshire, England
Coordinates53°41′59″N 1°36′9″W / 53.69972°N 1.60250°W / 53.69972; -1.60250Coordinates: 53°41′59″N 1°36′9″W / 53.69972°N 1.60250°W / 53.69972; -1.60250
OwnerDewsbury Rams
Capacity5,100
SurfaceGrass
Construction
Broke ground1994
Opened1994
Expanded2015
Tenants
Dewsbury Rams (1994-present)

Crown Flatt, known as the Tetley's Stadium for sponsorship purposes, is a rugby league stadium in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, England. It is the home of Dewsbury rugby league club. It occupies the site of Shaw Cross Colliery, which closed in August 1968.

Crown Flatt was also the name of a stadium used by Dewsbury until 13 September 1988, when it was deliberately burnt down.

History[edit]

Original stadium[edit]

On 19 January 1876, Mr A. Fearnsides – a Savile estate tenant – had agreed to sub-let the field to Dewsbury Athletic and Football Club for an initial payment of £20 per year.

The earliest surviving reference to the Crown Flatt enclosure is the one goal to nil defeat by Leeds Caledonians on 22 January 1876.

In season 1879/1880 the ground acquired its first permanent structure - a wooden terrace occupying the top side of the estate. At around the same time, and at a cost of £250, the field acquired a perimeter wall, turnstiles, viewing platforms and a refreshment tent.

Improved changing facilities appeared during the 1884/85 campaign. "Noah’s Ark" - a 3,500-seater grandstand purchased from the Royal Agricultural Show at Preston for £170 was erected along the southern touchline in time for the visit of Morley on 26 September 1885. In 1890, Crown Flatt hosted its first international rugby union match when it was used as England's first venue after a two-year absence from the Home Nations Championship due to the RFU's refusal to join the International Rugby Board. The game is notable as it was the first time England had lost to Wales, with the only try scored by a Dewsbury player, Wales's 'Buller' Stadden.[1]

In November 1897, the committee of Dewsbury and Savile Football and Athletic Club decided to abandon rugby union in favour of soccer and in mid-1898, to vacate Crown Flatt.

In September 1898 after rejecting an approach from the new Northern Union tenants, the Dewsbury and Savile committee received notice to remove their property from the ground before the end of the month. By 17 September both the top stand and "Noah’s Ark" opposite had been taken down, their rotten remains were sold to the local Poor Law Union for use as firewood.

In the summer of 1936, Crown Flatt became the home of Dewsbury Royals Professional Baseball Club. However, crowds were disappointing, and without the financial backing, which other clubs received, Dewsbury could not attract quality foreign players and struggled to compete with the bigger clubs. The club disappeared after the 1936 season.[2]

Crown Flatt was burnt down in an act of arson on 13 September 1988. It was replaced with a modern housing estate. The erection of the new stadium was overseen by the then present committee with the first part of the work done by the then president David T Farrow JP who died in 1991, before he could see the new stadium built.

New stadium[edit]

Dewsbury played their first home game at the new Crown Flatt stadium (often erroneously called New Crown Flatt) on 6 September 1994 in front of a full house against Barrow, a match they won 82-6.

The ground staged its final first class fixture on 14 April 1991 when Barrow were held to a 19-19 draw. Dewsbury full-back Nathan Graham, with a late conversion, registered the last senior points. The area is now covered by a housing estate, the streets of which are named after Dewsbury players.

The Rams suffix was adopted by the club in 1996 as part of rugby league's transition from a winter to a summer schedule. Crown Flatt stadium was renamed Ram Stadium in 1998.

In 2005, the stadium was again renamed Tetley's Stadium for sponsorship purposes.

The car parks to the south of the stadium hold one of the biggest car boot sales in the region, raising much needed revenue for the Community Trust run by the club.

Layout[edit]

North Stand[edit]

Seating stand at the stadium

Capacity- 900 (seated)
The stadium's main stand is completely covered and runs along the side of the pitch. It incorporates 900 seats, hospitality boxes and the players' changing rooms and tunnel.

East Stand[edit]

Capacity- (standing)
The east stand or Owl Lane End is the newest part of the stadium after being completed in 2015 it is situated behind the posts and is uncovered terracing. It also houses the scoreboard.

South Stand[edit]

Capacity- (standing)
The South Stand is the only bit of standing terracing that is covered and runs opposite and parallel to the North Stand.

West Stand[edit]

There is currently no stand in the West end of the ground behind the sticks. It is mostly occupied in summer when spectators can sit on the grass. Future plans would be to build a terrace like the East Stand if the club won promotion to Super League or there was a high demand for season tickets.

Rugby League Test Matches[edit]

Crown Flatt hosted two rugby league internationals in its history.[3]

Game Date Result Attendance Notes
1 20 October 1995  Ireland def.  Morocco 42–6 1995 Rugby League Emerging Nations Tournament
2 20 November 2000 United Kingdom BARLA def.  Italy 20–14 2000 Rugby League Emerging Nations Tournament Final

Sponsors[edit]

Year Sponsor Name
2005- Tetley's Brewery Tetley's Stadium

References[edit]

  1. ^ Godwin, Terry; The International Rugby Championship 1883-1983 (1984) pg24 ISBN 0-00-218060-X
  2. ^ Professional Baseball in Dewsbury
  3. ^ Crown Flatt at Rugby League Project