Mount Pleasant, Batley

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Fox's Biscuits Stadium
Mount Pleasant Batley 7 Feb 2010.JPG
A view down the hill from behind the rugby posts
Former names Love Rugby League Stadium (2014-2015)
Location Batley, West Yorkshire
Coordinates 53°42′26″N 1°37′54″W / 53.70722°N 1.63167°W / 53.70722; -1.63167Coordinates: 53°42′26″N 1°37′54″W / 53.70722°N 1.63167°W / 53.70722; -1.63167
Capacity 7,500
Record attendance 23,989
(vs. Leeds, 14 March 1925[1])
Surface Grass
Scoreboard Manual, numeric cards
Opened 1895
Tenants
Batley Bulldogs (1895-)
Hunslet (1980-1982)

Mount Pleasant Stadium (officially known as Fox's Biscuits Stadium) is a rugby league stadium in Batley, West Yorkshire, England. It is the home of Batley Bulldogs.

Renowned for its famous slope, Fox's Biscuits Stadium is situated at the top of the hill that overlooks the town of Batley. The end of the ground at the top of the hill is surrounded by three grandstands. Behind the rugby posts is a relatively new terraced stand, which houses the players changing rooms and also executive boxes.

At the opposite end at the bottom of the hill is an open terraced stand. As you go back up the pitch down one of the sides, the terrace is closed off due to safety reasons. The bottom corner of the pitch sees quite a large dip, which the home side use to their advantage.

In the diagonally opposite corner is the players entrance, which is situated between the new terraced stand, and a small all seater stand that runs down half of one side of the pitch.

The ground has undergone major redevelopment over the last ten years, work is currently continuing on the bottom part of the ground at the famous "nine ole" end.

History[edit]

Mount Pleasant in 2016

Batley Cricket Club played at the foot of Howley Hill, more commonly known as "Owd Billy Wood’s Cloise". The cricket club decided to merge with Batley Athletic rugby football club in 1880. The new rugby club played at Mount Pleasant at the top of the hill. The first game on the new ground was on 2 October 1880 when the hosts beat Bradford Zingari. Captain, Jacob Parker, scored the first try.[2]

In 1886-87, there was just one small covered stand, under which poultry were kept.[3] This was situated where the current main stand is now. The ground was used to host a Yorkshire v Surrey county match at around this time.

The 1893-94 season saw the erection of a huge open grandstand purchased by Batley's football committee following its use at the Great Yorkshire Show held at nearby Dewsbury. It cost £141-10s-0d.[3] Once erected it covered the whole side of one length of the Mount Pleasant playing area.

In 1901, Mount Pleasant was nearly lost and used for building land until the club's first president, Alderman J.W. Blackburn stepped in and bought the land along with Sir Mark Oldroyd, MP. This was then offered back to the club for £2,300. A company was formed to raise the sum, helped greatly by Alderman Joseph Auty, who agreed to donate money on the basis that no intoxicating liquor ever be sold at the ground.

The record attendance was set at 23,989 for the visit of Leeds for a third round Challenge Cup match on 14 March 1925.

Dewsbury played their home games at Mount Pleasant in 1991 while their new stadium was being built.

On 19 December 2014, the Batley announced a two-year sponsorship with Fox's Biscuits, including the renaming of Mount Pleasant to Fox's Biscuits Stadium.[4]

Sponsors[edit]

Period Sponsor Name
2011-2013 Love Rugby League Love Rugby League Stadium
2014- Fox's Biscuits Fox's Biscuits Stadium

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Batley Bulldogs History". Batley Bulldogs. Archived from the original on 2010-02-18. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 
  2. ^ Delaney 1991, p. 41.
  3. ^ a b Delaney 1991, p. 42.
  4. ^ "'Dogs take the biscuit – Mount Pleasant re-named as part of sponsorship deal". The Press Newspaper - The Intelligent Weekly. 19 December 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2015. 

Bibliography[edit]