Rushden and Diamonds Ground Move
It was a memorable occasion for everyone connected with Rushden and Diamonds FC on Saturday, as the club moved to their new Hayden Road ground, in the 2-0 victory against Hanwell Town, in the opening fixture of the EVO-STIK League South, season.
Formally playing at the Dog & Duck’, home of Wellingborough Town, the ‘Diamonds’ recently made the decision to up-sticks back to more familiar territory. Originally planned to begin the new campaign at Kempston Rovers with the intention of an Autumn homecoming, thanks to a tremendous effort from the club and volunteers, they managed to reach the appropriate ground standards set out by the league from the outset of the new season.
Manager Andy Peake, is most definitely accustomed with the surroundings, having played at Hayden Road for Rushden Town earlier in his career, and has certainly welcomed the return. He said: ‘’The players are getting a good feel for the place, it’s improving all the time’’. Peake was privileged to witness in excess of 1,157 supporters’ line the pitch for a fixture back in 2012, a feat that he ‘hopes to observe again in the future.’
If the opening performance of the season is anything to go by, then the move is already paying dividends, but it has come at a substantial financial cost. In fact, £40,000 was the total sum for achieving the necessary playing conditions.
Whilst many of the tangible assets were transported from the old facilities, such as the terrace, turnstiles, club shop and bar, additional costs were allocated to upgrading dressing rooms, toilets, perimeter boundaries, electrical provisions and additional seating.
One of the substantial charges was for the Concrete base permitted to relocate the Peter De Banke Terrace, but fortunately local business Mick George Ltd made a generous donation, to supply complimentary materials and services to a value of £4,000.
In recognition of the companies support, the club has named the new-seated stand at the Peter de Banke end of the ground as ‘THE MICK GEORGE STAND’ for the 2017/18 season.
John Gregory, AFC Rushden & Diamonds Commercial Director, said: “The transformation of Hayden Road over the past three months has been truly amazing. We are indebted to the tremendous work of a dedicated band of volunteers. However, we could not have completed the move without the support of our sponsors and in particular, Mick George Ltd. As a Community Benefit Society the club appreciates their recent contribution to help return the football club to its new home in Rushden.’’
Jon Stump, Finance Director at Mick George Ltd commented: ‘’We have a longstanding relationship with the community in and around the Rushden area, due to our sites located nearby. Over the years, the residents have always shown us support, and for that we were keen to repay the faith.’’
Stump Continued: ‘’We have numerous links with grassroot sports clubs, and recognise that they’re functioning on limited budgets. The football team in Rushden has a lot of heritage, and has formally been a big part of the town, so it’s good to see it return.’’