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Bradford Bulls groundsman Beattie has his eyes on the prize
Leigh Beattie could end a traumatic year at the Bulls on a glorious high after being nominated for a prestigious national award.
The Bulls’ head groundsman and kitman has been named in the Professional Rugby League Groundsman of the Year category by the Institute of Groundsman-ship Industry Awards 2012.
The long-serving 42-year-old, who also serves as West Bowling’s first-team coach and was on Bradford North-ern’s books as a youngster, is up against Leigh Sports Village’s Keith Porter.
Success for Beattie would cap a fitting end to an emotion-filled season.
The father of two, whose wife Melissa works as a cleaner at Odsal, was made redundant at the height of the club’s financial crisis before working voluntarily and then being reinstated as a paid employee after Omar Khan took ownership.
He also assists head of youth development Paul Medley in coaching the Bulls’ youngsters and is a popular figure at the club.
Beattie, father to six-year-old Louis and four-year-old Alicia, said: “It’s been a tough year but it’s been good too because the spirit of the club shone through and there was some great camaraderie.
"It’s good to get recognised with this nomination and it’s assessed on all manner of things – the field of play mainly but also the budgets that were available, machinery and how many staff you’ve got.
“I’ve had no budget all year and no money had been spent on it whatsoever until Omar took over.
“My machines haven’t been serviced so we’ve had to battle through really.
“We had to borrow some paint to mark from Leeds Rhinos because we couldn’t afford to buy any.
“It’s been tough for me personally because I’m the main breadwinner in my family but my wife has been an absolute rock for me.”
Now in its fourth year, the awards have received a record number of nominations.
The winners will be revealed by talkSPORT presenter Mark Saggers at York Racecourse on Thursday, December 6.