Mark Bates & Sons

Date published: Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Oldham Rugby League Club are pleased to add another local company to their mix of sponsorship partners in the shape of Mark Bates and Sons of Middleton Junction, manufacturers and suppliers of quality ready-mix concrete.

The firm’s logo will be worn on the jerseys of the Oldham players throughout what promises to be an exciting 2010 season of Co-operative Championship 1 rugby league in which the Roughyeds have opened up with two significant wins, both away from home.

“Our sport demands that players are tough and unyielding, so there’s something very appropriate in seeing the Oldham boys sponsored by a firm that specialises in concrete,” said the club’s commercial manager Rachael Marsters.

“It’s the first time Mark Bates and Sons have been associated with rugby league and we are delighted to welcome them as sponsorship partners alongside several others, local, regional and national.”

Mark Bates, owner of the 20-year-old family business, is a football fan, a former Rochdale AFC apprentice and an ex-player at semi-professional level, but he also appreciates that rugby league players are involved in one of the hardest sports in existence.

“I went to my first rugby league game when Oldham played Sheffield Eagles recently in the Northern Rail Cup,” he said, “and I was staggered to see part-time professionals who had done a day’s work first playing with so much intensity and so much physicality.

“I wasn’t sure of the rules or of the finer points of play, but I was guided through it by Chris Hamilton (the club chairman). I soon got the gist of it and I found it gripping stuff to watch.

“It was brilliant entertainment and, even as a lifelong football fan, I have to admit that those fellows put footballers to shame.

“I was full of admiration at their commitment and their discipline and now I can’t wait to see Roughyeds in action again, and I will be making a point of taking my two football-fan sons, aged nine and 13, to see if they enjoy rugby league as much as I did.

“Quite a few of our customers are also showing an interest and I tell them that Mark Bates and Sons are delighted to have started an association with Oldham Rugby League Club.”

Mark Bates is also sponsoring an individual Oldham player . . . Irish international prop Wayne Kerr, one of the toughest men in the squad.