Bid made to list old Poppies ground in Kettering as community asset

editorial image

A nomination has been made to list Kettering Town FC’s old Rockingham Road ground as an asset of community value.

The Poppies last played at the ground where they were based for more than 100 years in July 2011, before an ill-fated move to Nene Park in Irthlingborough.

They now play at Latimer Park with Rockingham Road in a sorry state – but Poppies chairman Ritchie Jeune says their future is “up in the air”.

He said: “A nomination has been made by KTFC Community to list Rockingham Road as an asset of community value.

“This would give us the ability to bid should the land be sold and we would have to be involved.

“There is no guarantee we could match it but we would have that option.

“The future is up in the air in the short to mid-term but we are getting support behind the club.”

If approved by Kettering Council, the status would last for five years before a further nomination would be required.

The Poppies maintained their play-off push last night (Tuesday) with a 1-1 draw with Leamington, extending their unbeaten run to 11 matches.

Mr Jeune says any potential ground issues won’t affect their chances of promotion this season.

He added: “If we were to be promoted, whether to the Conference North or South, Latimer Park can be brought up to standard.

“There is a scope within the site to do that.

“We are in lots of discussions but everything has taken longer than we would have hoped.

“We have searched all over the borough for a ground and any potential to move back to Rockingham Road all depends on circumstances.

“Of course we would love to move back there in some shape and I think this is really positive news for the fans.”

Kettering councillor Michael Brown (Con, Brambleside) welcomed the news.

He said: “I am hugely encouraged that the community organisation affiliated with Kettering Town Football Club are looking to do the sensible and right thing and list the Rockingham Road stadium as a community asset.

“Rockingham Road has a big place in the hearts of local people and hopefully this is a small step in them realising their aspirations.”