Vestacare Stadium

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Vestacare Stadium
Whitebank stad entrance.jpg
Former namesWhitebank Stadium
LocationLimeside, Oldham, Greater Manchester
Coordinates53°31′6.75″N 2°7′18.29″W / 53.5185417°N 2.1217472°W / 53.5185417; -2.1217472Coordinates: 53°31′6.75″N 2°7′18.29″W / 53.5185417°N 2.1217472°W / 53.5185417; -2.1217472
Capacity1,500
SurfaceArtificial surface
Construction
Built1992
Opened1992
Renovated2010, 2017
Expanded2010
Tenants

Vestacare Stadium (formerly Whitebank Stadium) on White Bank Road, Oldham, is a rugby league and association football stadium which forms part of Limehurst Village. It is the home stadium of Oldham R.L.F.C.[1] and, from April 2017, the home of North West Counties club Avro who are now the main tenants.

In 2017, following a sponsorship from Vestacare, a service provider for people with learning disabilities, the stadium was renamed Vestacare Stadium.[2][3][4]

Structure[edit]

Over 350 seats were acquired from Wilderspool Stadium in Warrington and were installed by volunteers.[5] Timber used in the construction of the new Wembley Stadium was also reused in the stadium developments in 2010.[5][not in citation given]

On 13 September 2016, plans were announced for further improvements to the stadium site. It is envisaged that the planning application will seek consent for leveling and upgrading the main pitch into a new artificial grass surface. In additional to a range of ancillary work, an area of land to the North of the existing social club would also be upgraded to form an additional grass, training pitch.[6]

The refurbished main stand at the Whitebank Stadium

Association football[edit]

Oldham Boro F.C. (formerly Oldham Dew and Oldham Town) played at Whitebank Stadium from 1992 until 2012 after previously playing at Nordens Road, Chadderton since the mid 1960s. They became Oldham Boro in 2009. From the summer of 2012 until 2014 the club shared Alder House with Atherton Collieries F.C.. The ground is approximately 19 miles away from their traditional home. The club has subsequently folded after a final season at Mossley F.C..

Castleton Gabriels (Now Rochdale Town F.C.) played part of the 2004–05 season at Whitebank during refurbishment work at their Castleton Sports Centre ground.

In September 2016 Manchester Football League club Avro announced plans for the use of Whitebank Stadium, enabling the club to apply for higher level football upon completion of ground improvements. The move from their Lancaster Club, Failsworth home to Whitebank was completed in April 2017.[6][7]

Prior to 1992 the ground had been in use for amateur sports since at least the early 1930s.

Rugby league[edit]

Oldham left their historic home of Watersheddings in 1997. The club went on to use eight venues in 12 years; only one of which was in Oldham. Oldham were told they would no longer be able to use Oldham Athletic's Boundary Park in November 2009. The club went to Oldham Council for help.

The 2010 season saw a transition with the five home games were played out of town at Park Lane, Whitefield, home of Sedgley Park R.U.F.C.. Roughyeds' first game at Whitebank took place on 9 May 2010 with the opposition being York. The first time Oldham had played on their own ground in Oldham borough since 1997. The rest of the home games were played at Whitebank. Home crowds were nearly double at Whitebank compared to Park Lane. Following promotion, for the 2016 and 2017 seasons Oldham played their first team games at Bower Fold, Stalybridge, as their Whitebank home didn't meet the grading requirements for higher level rugby.[1]

In September 2016 it was announced that Oldham had surrendered the lease on the stadium, although the club will continue to operate at Whitebank Stadium in some capacity.[8] Following relegation, Oldham returned to the Whitebank Stadium for the commencement of the 2018 season.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Home Stadium". Oldham RLFC. Retrieved 2018-07-05.
  2. ^ "Avro's new stadium is taking off". Oldham Evening Chronicle. 2017-02-08. Retrieved 2018-07-05.
  3. ^ "Stadium work is now under way". Oldham Evening Chronicle. 2017-04-24. Retrieved 2018-07-05.
  4. ^ "Vestacare becomes new Avros Stadium sponsors - Vestacare". Vestacare. Retrieved 2018-07-05.
  5. ^ a b "Oldham Rugby League Football Club » Ground News". Archived from the original on 2016-09-18. Retrieved 2018-07-05.
  6. ^ a b "club statement regarding whitebank stadium". Avro Football Club. 2016-09-13. Retrieved 2018-07-05.
  7. ^ "'Big four' target rise through the leagues". Oldham Evening Chronicle. 2016-12-30. Retrieved 2018-07-05.
  8. ^ http://www.avrojfc.org/news/club-statement-regarding-whitebank-stadium-1686657.html |Retrieved 25 September 2016
  9. ^ "Home-sweet-home for Oldham". Oldham Evening Chronicle. 2018-01-24. Retrieved 2018-07-05.

External links[edit]