BRADFORD Bulls are set to leave Odsal for Dewsbury after tomorrow's game against Sheffield Eagles, so it's time to head right back to the birth of the ground, and find out how the grand old stadium began.

Northern, as they were known then, had been playing at Birch Lane in West Bowling since 1908, but things were not going well.

The Telegraph & Argus' book, 100 Years of the Bulls, reported how "Northern's very existence was continually in doubt as the club struggled from one financial disaster to another".

There were no success, no stability in sight. The Rugby League had to bail the club out on several occasions and the Birch Lane ground, according to the book, was regarded as one of the worst in the league, lacking basic facilities.

In the 1920s, the Bradford Cleansing Department, led by Ernest Call MBE led a scheme which was intended to transform desolate areas into lush playing fields and gardens.

One of the most ambitious projects was to build a stadium holding 150,000 spectators. That project was Odsal.

It was never to quite reach that capacity, but designing the ground was still no mean feat.

Initial work began in August 1930, with a master plan including a three-storey pavilion, and even a ballroom. Those ideas were quickly shelved but a new plan was accepted in June 1933.

A 10-year lease was agreed, at an annual rent of £20, and Northern officially took control of the stadium in January 1934.

At the time, it was just a giant bowl created by controlled tipping. That meant the playing area had to be levelled out and laid, with the club also having to erect all facilities, including fencing, changing rooms and seating.

The T&A's 100 Years of... book reports how, with the 1934/35 season looming, time and money was running out and the club still needed to build a perimeter fence and a grandstand.

Fortunately, a £2,000 loan from the Rugby League sorted Northern out, with their stand completed just a day or two before their first match.

The finished venue was quite the site, and it was quickly being hailed as the "Wembley of the North".

Bradford's bow at the stadium did not go so well, as they were heavily beaten (31-16) by a strong Huddersfield outfit.

But that was largely forgotten on a day of celebration. Odsal had arrived, and an iconic institution was born.