So there’s a chance. It may not be a big one, but there’s a chance. To even have a glimmer it’s better that it’s now and not a year or two years ago, when just surviving to play another match was the goal. The Pickerings have had plenty of time to weigh up their prospects. Is the site really an attractive proposition for developers? Let’s hope not. The cost of demolition would presumably have to include undoing the levelling of the field back to the original gradient , no small job. A noisy bowling alley nearby. The old Indian burial ground under the pitch (go start a rumour, what have we got to lose).
If nothing else, these past three years have done wonders for managing expectations. Far from looking around Rockingham Road during quiet passages of play and reflecting how shabby the old girl looked, most of us would gladly take it now with two sides closed on safety grounds and the players emerging out of a portakabin in the corner. That’s not to underplay our gratitude to BPW and Corby for acting as a life support machine since 2012 – we will always be thankful – but as long as the wrecking ball and digger stayed away from Rockingham Road there was always a faint hope - very faint perhaps – that somehow we might return. The road signs to a football ground are still there…
It will come down to sealed bids so emotion and sentiment won’t count for anything. But just suppose KTFC repossesses Rockingham Road. Imagine the impact. Ownership restored after nearly 30 years, and in the era of lottery funding and grants for development of community facilities. An initial period of roughing it leading eventually to phased redevelopment, starting with the prime end on Rockingham Road itself – where better to situate the facilities to generate year round revenue – a bar, a gym, a place to eat? Isn’t that a better bet than corporate boxes which any club would struggle to fill, to watch non League football. Diamonds had a whole pitch length of them – before the crash. But we’ll take a few spare parts from Nene Park while they’re still available. And if we can still attract 600 to Latimer Park to watch Tier 8, surely more to RR if the admission pricing remains attractive.
Leaving aside the absence of a realistic option, do we really need an out of town location with a 3G training pitch and megastore parking. Do Stevenage have that. Do Cheltenham. Do Kidderminster. They all seem to have done ok without them, by being well run, by progressive ground improvements, and without being somebody’s vanity project. At the moment we might not be aiming that high, but a return to Rockingham Road would raise the ceiling. So light a candle, say a prayer and promise to be a nicer person if this one wish is granted.