A. F. C. Rushden & Diamonds, nicknamed “The Diamonds,” is a non-league football club based in Rushden, Northamptonshire.
Established in 1970, they currently compete in the Pitching In Northern Premier League Division One Midlands, which is part of the eighth tier of English football. The team calls Hayden Road Sports Ground their home ground.
AFC Rushden & Diamonds, established in 2011 by fans following Rushden & Diamonds’ dissolution, is a community-led club based on a “one fan, one vote” ethos. Initially fielding only an under-18 team in the Northants Senior Youth League, the club appointed Mark Starmer as the first manager, celebrated for his youth football expertise. In memory of the late Dale Roberts, former Rushden & Diamonds goalkeeper, the club retired the number 1 shirt and organized a memorial cup.
Transitioning to senior football in 2012, they joined the United Counties League Division One and achieved immediate promotion. Managed by Starmer, with Andy Peaks assisting, the club began playing at Wellingborough Town’s Dog and Duck ground. Success continued with the United Counties Premier Division title and further promotions in the non-league system.
Despite challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the club maintained competitiveness, often contending for playoff positions. In 2022, Andy Burgess, an ex-Rushden & Diamonds player, took over as manager. The club’s commitment to community and fan involvement remains central to its ethos and operations.
Former players and managers elsewhere in the non-league pyramid