KEIGHLEY chairman Mick O'Neill says he is sad Odsal will shut its doors next month after confirming there was never any contact from Bulls regarding a potential groundshare at Cougar Park.

Cougars are set to be the only professional rugby league side playing in the Bradford district over the next two seasons after Bulls announced they would be leaving the city to play at fellow Championship side Dewsbury Rams due to the high costs of staying at Odsal.

O'Neill, who was present as a youngster in the world record-breaking Odsal crowd of 102,575 for the 1954 Challenge Cup final replay where Warrington grabbed an 8-4 victory over Halifax, said: "There has been no contact from Bulls with us. We want Keighley to be Keighley.

"It must be difficult for them, going out of the town completely. It's going to be hard.

"We've always had a strong connection with them, the derbies. I hope they keep that going.

"To lose a team from your town or city is sad. It's difficult.

"I hope they can progress and get back into Bradford. It's good that rugby league sticks together. I hope that they can survive."

Read more: Bradford-born prop on 'heartbreaking' Odsal exit

Bulls had explored the possibility of ground-sharing at other sporting sites in Bradford, namely Bradford City's Valley Parade and Bradford (Park Avenue's) Horsfall Stadium but neither offer economically viable options according to Bulls chairman Andrew Chalmers.

Cougar Park holds 6,500 - a much bigger option than Horsfall where capacity was a major stumbling block for a Bulls move - but non-league football outfit Steeton already share the ground with their rugby league hosts.

O'Neill hopes Bulls can return to the city as soon as possible but in the meantime says any Bradford fans would be more than welcome to attend Cougars matches in Keighley next season.

He said: "Bulls supporters would be very welcome at Keighley if they don't want to travel to Dewsbury. We would welcome them with open arms."

The 78-year-old admits he didn't see much of that iconic final replay at Odsal due to there being so many spectators.

He said: "Odsal was far too big. I was there in the 1950s, for the 102,000 record crowd. I never saw a thing. I was only a young lad. I always thought it was far too big but there has been some great matches there."

Cougars' last-ever game at Odsal was on Sunday, September 2 last year when a 54-4 victory for Bulls was played in front of a crowd of 3,119 in Betfred League One.

Bulls have already put season tickets for the Tetley's Stadium on sale despite being yet to have their relocation application approved by the Rugby Football League.

The governing body are expected to discuss the matter at their board meeting on Friday but it is unclear whether they will be in a position to finalise their decision.

Meanwhile, Cougars utility player Dan Parker has had a busy week.

He signed a new one-year deal that keeps him at Cougar Park until the end of the 2020 season.

But his season came to an end against Whitehaven on Sunday after he was issued with a two-game suspension for a Grade B offence (strikes - punching – self defence).

This means he will sit out Cougars trip to Doncaster on September 1 followed by his side's final game of the campaign, a home date with Newcastle Thunder seven days later.