The Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for Kettering made it clear that a return of Kettering Town Football Club to the town is high up on his party’s agenda.
Rob Reeves, the Green’s candidate for the upcoming election is a firm believer that the Poppies need to be playing their home fixtures in Kettering, since the controversial decision to leave Rockingham Road in 2011.
Residents of Kettering will have the chance to vote for the Green Party in the upcoming general election for the first time ever, as Rob was announced as the party’s first ever parliamentary candidate for the constituency.
Rob said: “Having a the club playing in the town instills a sense of community, especially at this level. A football club is more than a football club, it is integral to the town itself.
“The local club should be an inspiration to young football fans, and without the presence in the town, it’s harder to connect with them. Furthermore, it makes it more expensive for fans to travel to see the home games.
“It’s great that the club has been able to stay in the borough and play at Latimer Park up to now but, ultimately, I strongly feel that the club needs to find a permanent home in the town.”
Just a day after the football club secured promotion to the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division, the club’s management revealed that contract talks to stay at their current home, Latimer Park, were not financially viable.
Poppies chairman Ritchie Jeune confirmed discussions are underway with Corby Town FC about the possibility of a return to Steel Park.
Rob added: “I was delighted that Kettering got promoted, but hadn’t heard that they might be in trouble in regards to their home ground again.
“I thought it was heartbreaking that they had to move away from Rockingham Road in the first place, but at least they were back in the Borough by playing in Latimer Park. I grew up round the corner from the Rockingham Road ground and have lots of great memories of walking down to watch them play.
“I can’t imagine growing up in a town like Kettering and not being able to watch the team in the home town. I know we played a few seasons at Nene Park and that was far from ideal. The team needs to play in the town in my opinion, both for the benefit of the town and the club itself.
“In an ideal world, I would love to see KTFC playing back at Rockingham Road, their spiritual home where they had been playing for over a century. As this has become less and less likely, and with the club announcing that they have all but given up hope, we perhaps have to look at other options.”
Rob also confirmed that his party are fielding a record of 14 candidates in the local elections, with just voters in Desborough Loatland, Welland and Burton Latimer unable to vote Green locally.