ODSAL’S return is the reward for the Bulls’ unsung heroes “who have grafted day and night”.

The Bulls will be back playing in their spiritual home for the first time in 637 days when they face York City Knights on Sunday.

A limited capacity of 4,000 will be allowed in for what promises to be an emotionally-charged occasion as the team return to Bradford.

Bullbuilder, the club’s supporters’ trust, have been among the volunteers working on the stadium – which officially opened to fans with the return of stock-car racing.

“The amount of work the club have done behind the scenes with all the volunteers is absolutely fantastic,” said Bullsbuilder chairman Paul Butterworth.

“It shows how committed the people that support the Bulls are. There have been family members up there grafting day and night for free.

“Everyone has worked so hard, whether it’s doing the painting or decorating or pulling up weeds. I don’t know how the staff have got through it but they’ve gone above and beyond.”

The Bulls have not played at Odsal since September 1, 2019 when 7,531 watched a win over Sheffield.

Many of those fans were invited on to the pitch after the game for potentially their final glimpse of the iconic ground.

Andrew Chalmers, the club’s owner at the time, felt the club had no choice but to quit their home blaming the rent and maintenance costs – and made it clear that there were no guarantees of coming back.

Butterworth added: “I always had the belief we would get back. The grassroots would always be there and it makes sense.

“We don’t know all the facts about what’s gone on behind the scenes but the present owners must have worked so hard to reverse it.

“It’s going to be Bradford Bulls again and that’s fantastic for the city. I feel I could walk on water.”

The Bulls moved to Dewsbury to share the Tetley’s Stadium before the start of last season. They played only two Championship games and one Challenge Cup tie there when the pandemic forced a halt.

They have beaten Halifax and landlords Dewsbury at their temporary base so far this campaign behind closed doors.

Fans were allowed back for the first time at London on Sunday – and the move back to Odsal coincides with successive home games.

Butterworth said: “It’s Bradford Bulls and that’s what we all wanted. Bullbuilder did help with a petition and got a lot of signatures.

“The fans were queueing up in their droves at Dewsbury to sign it when they saw us at the turnstiles.

“Odsal is a superb place when you look at social distancing. It’s going to be such a massively positive atmosphere going back.

“I drove past a couple of weeks and saw red, amber and black on the gates again and it felt so good.

“Youngsters want to play on that pitch, the foundation do fantastic job, Bullbuilder gets so much support – we’re a community. You look at the young lads we’ve got in the academy and the amount of commitment given by the staff.

“This is the reward for all that hard work and everybody will be delighted. I can’t thank everybody enough who’s been involved in getting us back.”