ON Saturday I followed in the footsteps of my old West Park Geography teachers, Messrs Hazell and Campbell, and went for a rain-lashed four mile yomp around the Ingleton waterfalls.

Maybe I was just trying to empathise with the travelling Saints fans who the following day were about to mount on their now traditional encounter with the Odsal elements.

This year, despite the four seasons in 80 minutes, was not too bad – but it was noticeable that the travelling crowd at Bradford was significantly down on recent years.

Maybe it was due to the clash with last day of the Premiership footy season or maybe was it that some fans, having experienced a few years of taking their families to get soaked in that shelterless hole, simply opted to stay warm and dry.

Odsal is a remarkable piece of work – a place of history and the scene of that famous 1954 Challenge Cup Final replay when 104,000 plus crammed in.

Although there have been landscaping improvements since the early 80s – the cinder and railway sleeper steps have long gone, as too has the soil heap at the far end of the ground.

But it still offers no shelter whatsoever to standing spectators. But then again, they are not alone in Yorkshire.

Now that the Super League licensing has been dispensed with – and now that coincidentally Saints, Warrington, Widnes, Leigh and Salford (yes all the Lancashire clubs) have shelled out to improve their grounds, have you noticed that nobody really talks about grounds minimum standards any more.

Where have all the surveys gone - the ones that used to hint at threatening a successful Super League club’s presence in the top flight on the basis of not having sufficient rolls of Izal in the khazies.

Why is it still acceptable for more or less every Yorkshire club, with the exception of Hull, to place its guests in the enclosure open to the elements.

Supporting your team should not be an endurance test – and fans should not be paying £20 plus transport to get soaked and then spend an hour or two squelching home on the bus.

Every ground should give the standing fans the option of a roof - even if it means sharing it with home support.