Rushden & Diamonds
Formed 1992. Wound up 2011.
Promoted to Nationwide Division Three 2001. Relegated to The National Conference 2006.
1992-1994 d g
1994-1995 g j
1995-1997 d f g
1998-1999 b g
1999-2000 b g
2000-2002 b g h i
2002-2004 b g h
2004-2005 e g h i
2005-2006 c h
2006-2007 c g h
2007-2009 c h
This remarkable club was formed by the merger of Rushden Town (formed 1889 and competing in the Southern League) with neighbours Irthlingborough Diamonds (formed 1946 and playing in the United Counties League). It was Diamonds who approached local businessman, Max Griggs to request sponsorship from his company, the R Griggs Group, better known as the manufacturers of Dr Marten's boots. Griggs made a radical proposal - he would provide investment to bring the Diamond's ground up to scratch provided the two clubs merged. Reluctantly this was agreed and in front of 315 spectators, the new Rushden & Diamonds club played its first fixture against Bilston Town in the Southern League Midland Division at the beginning of the 1992-93 season.
One year later, work started on a new 1,000 seater North Stand and the club won the Midlands Division title and Northants Senior Cup. In 1994 brand new function rooms and changing facilities were opened while work started on building the South Stand. In May 1996, 4,664 fans watched Rushden & Diamonds beat Merthyr Tydfil to clinch the Southern League Premier Division title and earn promotion to the Conference.
While investment in the club's facilities continued year on year, progress was made on the pitch as well. In 1998 and 1999 the club finished in fourth position and a year later they held Leeds United to a 0-0 draw at Nene Park in the Third Round of the FA Cup. In 2000-01, the club lost only one of its final 23 matches to win the Conference championship and promotion to the Football League.
The clubs colours of red, white and blue are reflected in the club’s badge. The crest uses aspects from both the respective Rushden Town and Irthlingborough Diamonds badges. It is formed by a shield-like shape, with ‘R&DFC’ written in banner form underneath. In the top left corner is the Rampant Lion, representing the Sartoris family, who donated some land on Hayden Road to Rushden Sports Club in 1922. On the opposite side at the top sit the crossed keys of St. Peter’s Church in Irthlingborough. Taken from the old Irthlingborough Diamonds crest, there are two keys, one for heaven and one for hell. Below the Lion in the bottom left quarter of the badge are the ‘Blue Diamonds’, taken from the old Irthlingborough Diamonds logo. Similarly, the three ‘Red and White Hoops’ sitting to the right originate from Rushden Town’s badge. An illustration of the local River Nene runs through the centre of the badge.
After reaching the play-offs in their first season in Nationwide Division Three, Rushden & Diamonds won the division title the following year, only to be relegated back to the lowest division in 2004. In 2005 Max and Stephen Griggs decided to sever their connections and offered to give the club to the newly formed Supporters' Trust. The 2005-06 season proved disastrous: wearing a new, all-red strip without the logo of the Dr Martens that had become firmly associated with the Diamonds' success, they finished last in League Two and were relegated to the Conference. In 2007 the familiar white strip with red and blue trim was reinstated.
Without the financial support of the Griggs family, the club struggled and in May 2011 they were fined £2,000 and docked five points for breaching the Conference's strict rules on financial management. Attempts to find a buyer came to nothing and in June they faced a winding up order in the High Court over £750,000 in unpaid tax. Days before the hearing the club was expelled from the Blue Square Conference whose board issued a statement that they had "no confidence in the club's ability to pay its creditors or...meet its obligations in the forthcoming season." The club was formally wound up shortly afterwards and Nene Park was taken over by neighbours, Kettering Town.
Supporters formed a phoenix club in July 2011, AFC Rushden & Diamonds, which was accepted into the Northants Senior Youth League for the 2011-12 season with the intention of entering a senior team into the United Counties League, which forms part of the English football pyramid, the following year. The new club shares Kiln Park with UCL team Raunds Town.
- (a) Classic Kits
- (b) empics
- (c) Rushden & Diamonds Official Website
- (d) rdfcnet
- (e) Manchester On Line
- (f) Alliance to Conference (John Harman 2005)
- (g) Matthew Banyard
- (h) David King
- (i) Keith Ellis
- (j) Darren Isted
Crests are the property of Rushden & Diamnonds FC. Background to crest courtesy of Wikipedia.