Northampton

Rockingham Road: Former Kettering Town ground 'acquired by housing developer'

Rockingham Road Image copyright Pete Norton
Image caption No football has been played at Rockingham Road - pictured here in 2013 - for six years

Kettering Town Football Club says its former home ground has been acquired by a developer for a "future housing project", ending hopes of a return.

The Poppies played at Rockingham Road from 1897 until 2011, when they moved to Nene Park in Irthlingborough.

A statement from the Southern League Premier club said the agreed valuation "greatly exceeds" a viable price.

Kettering had twice tried and failed to get their old home listed as an "asset of community value".

The club said: "Attempting to match or beat the unrealistic price tag put on Rockingham Road would have done nothing to secure the club's future."

If the bid to list the ground as an asset of community value had succeeded it would have given Kettering Town a greater say in the stadium's future.

Who are Kettering Town?

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Kettering Town have been the only football club Paul Gascoigne has managed
  • Founded in 1872, but have spent much of their history as a non-league club
  • Hold the record for the most goals scored in the FA Cup
  • Reached the fourth round twice - most recently in 2009
  • Ron Atkinson began his managerial career here before managing Manchester United and Atletico Madrid among others
  • Former England international Paul Gascoigne had a short-lived managerial spell at the club - lasting just 39 days

The ground has been owned by Ben Pickering Ltd since Kettering Town sold the freehold to the site in the 1980s.

The north Northamptonshire side played at Nene Park, the former home of Rushden and Diamonds - which was demolished earlier this year - for just over 12 months before financial issues forced them to move elsewhere.

After a short ground share with nearby Corby Town, they moved to Latimer Park in Burton Latimer, which they have shared with Burton Park Wanderers since.

Kettering Borough Council has been approached for comment.

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