Oldham to leave Bower Fold and return to borough

Oldham Roughyeds have confirmed that, subject to final approval from the RFL, will return to the borough next year.

They have been playing at Bower Fold, Stalybridge in the past two seasons but they are set to return to what was their home venue from 2010 to 2015, which was originally known as Whitebank but has now been renamed as The Vestacare Stadium and is occupied by Avro Football Club after a revamp.

On the matter, Oldham chairman Chris Hamilton: “We hope to be back playing in the borough in 2018.

“Talks with Oldham Council, Avro FC and the RFL have been ongoing for a considerable period of time.

“Everything for our return to The Vestacare Stadium is agreed with the Council and with Avro.

“There are still one or two final details to be approved by the RFL but we hope to get those sorted reasonably quickly. We are waiting for them to get back to us so that we can then get final approval and dot the ‘I’s and cross the ‘t’s.

“It will be good to be back in Oldham.

“Significant investment has gone into The Vestacare Stadium which, among other major improvements, now boasts a first-class artificial pitch. The old slope has gone.

“Our lads trained on the new surface at the end of last season. They liked it and they are looking forward to training and playing on it next season.

“We want it to become a Roughyeds’ fortress as it was when we played there previously.”

The club kept its office and administrative base at the ground throughout the two years it played its home fixtures at Bower Fold.

Oldham and Avro will share The Vestacare Stadium in 2018.

On the partnership, Avro FC chairman Rob Fuller said: “We hope to work closely with Oldham RLFC and forge a good partnership.

“We extend a big welcome to Roughyeds fans and hope they enjoy The Vestacare Stadium and all the improvements that have been made.

“We’ll also be working closely with the Council – and The Vestacare Stadium will be a community facility which will be available for hire.”

The clubhouse at Whitebank has been fully refurbished with a new heating system as well as new ceilings, furniture and bars.

Other improvements have been made at the ground as well including a new grass pitch, new outdoor toilets, renewed floodlighting and more.

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