LEIGH Beattie can work up to 70 hours a week at the Bulls in his roles as Under-16s coach, kitman and head groundsman.

But when asked to sum up the demands of his job, the straight-talking Bradfordian puts it neatly into perspective.

“I did concreting for ten or 15 years and if I had to go back to that, getting up at four o’clock in the morning, I think I would burst out crying,” says Beattie.

“I would rather do what I do now, even if means working 70 hours a week.

“The job has it testing times and you’ve got to be pretty thick skinned, but overall it’s not a bad life. The banter is great and you forge some fantastic friendships.”

Underperforming players can often be accused of stealing a wage but never could that charge be levelled at Beattie.

Cut him in half and he bleeds red, amber and black.

The 45-year-old grew up in Odsal, where he still lives today, and is a vital cog in the club’s coaching department, backroom team and ground staff.

Beattie takes up his story, saying: “I grew up watching Northern and the likes of Alan Rathbone and Franny Jarvis and was about three or four when my mum and dad first brought me here.

“I played in the colts and made a few appearances for the A team before going to play amateur for Odsal Sedbergh.”

Beattie never made the grade as a player at his boyhood club but has spent much of his working life at the famous old stadium.

He explained: “I spent two or three years here when I was a teenager and have now done about 15 years in my second spell.

“I was doing a sports and leisure course and my first placement was working on the ground with (former Northern winger) Roger Simpson.

“I did a bit for the lottery as well but there wasn’t enough money in it really, so I got a job concreting and spent a bit of time backpacking in Australia. When I came back, I started working part-time on the ground with Roger again.

“I also helped out with the kits as well as the academy, so when Fred Robinson retired in 2005, I took over as head kitman.

“My first game in charge of the kit was the World Club Challenge game in 2006 at Huddersfield when we beat Wests Tigers.”

During the traumatic 2012 campaign, Beattie was among the staff made redundant when the club entered administration.

He worked for three months without pay and was later re-employed following Omar Khan’s takeover.

“BullBuilder did a great job in helping us out financially, but it was a tough time,” remembered Beattie.

“It wasn’t just the administration itself, it was the build-up to that and then the period when we worked without pay.

“It was the same scenario last year when the club went into administration again.

“This time I managed to keep my job and stay on board.”

When Jimmy Lowes took over last July, he appointed Beattie as Under-16s coach, Matt Diskin was made Under-19s coach and John Bastian was brought in as head of youth.

Beattie said: “Jimmy’s a good bloke and has a lot of time for you, as he has for all his staff and players.

“Some people on the outside may look at him a bit differently, but he’s good to work for and has certainly taught me an awful lot.

“I’ve developed as a coach and a person and matured a lot under Jimmy and John Bastian.

“I’ve always been on the fringes, but they gave me an opportunity to coach the Under-16s and I think that’s what I needed.

“Over the course of the year, we have really developed the programme.

“We produced some good players last year, who have all signed, with the likes of Jacob Trueman, Joe Brown, Jay Panter, Wilf Moxon, Milo Martin, Danny Waite-Pullan all doing well.

“If they continue to work as hard as they have done then I can see them playing Super League.

“They have moved on into the 19s now, so John has done a good job in retaining them.”

With assistant first-team coach Karl Harrison expected to leave the club at the end of the season, a reshuffle of Lowes’ staff could see Chev Walker handed a position after he retires.

Beattie, currently assisted as Under-16s coach by Walker and Jay Pitts, adds: “I’ll still be doing the Under-16s and helping Matt with the Under-19s too.

“If things work out, hopefully I’ll do a lot more work with Diskin and Jimmy next season because Jimmy is mentoring both of us.

“The club means a lot to me and I’ve put a lot of time and hard work in down the years.

“That’s not just me, it’s other people as well, and it’s my local team.

“It would be great if we could get back up after everything the club has been through.”