Rushden & Diamonds F.C.
Rushden & Diamonds Football Club was an association football club based in Irthlingborough, Northamptonshire, England. It was formed by a merger of Rushden Town and Irthlingborough Diamonds in 1992, the club played in the Conference National following a short spell in the Football League at the start of the 2000s. Nicknamed The Diamonds, the played at Nene Park. The clubs main rivals were county neighbours Kettering Town, Rushden and Diamonds was formed on 21 April 1992 by a merger of Rushden Town and Irthlingborough Diamonds. The move was the brainchild of Max Griggs, on 22 August 1992, Ollie Kearns scored the first league goal in the clubs history, against Bilston Town in the Southern League Midland Division. The clubs first few seasons were remarkable for the success the team enjoyed, the following year they won the division, winning promotion to the Southern League Premier Division, and two years later the Diamonds were again promoted as champions. The team had gained promotion to the Football Conference after just four years as a club and it was within this period that the club had achieved their best success in the FA Cup, getting to the 3rd Round twice. In 1998–99, the Diamonds held Leeds United to a famous 0–0 draw at Nene Park, after taking a shock early lead at Elland Road in the replay, they went on to lose 3–1. In the following campaign, the club were rewarded with a 3rd Round draw away to Sheffield United, the Diamonds secured a 1–1 draw at Bramall Lane, to force a replay. In the return fixture, the match went to penalties following a 1–1 deadlock after extra-time, in the shootout however, it was the Blades who finally edged the Diamonds out 6–5 to go through. In their first season in new surroundings, the Diamonds reached the Division Three Play-Off Final, after overcoming Rochdale 4–3 on aggregate over the two-legged Semi-Final, the club lost to Cheltenham Town in the final, 3–1 at the Millennium Stadium. In 2003, they won the division, pipping Hartlepool United to the Division Three championship on the last day of the season – their third title in eight seasons. The 2003–04 season in Division Two proved to be one of difficulty for Rushden & Diamonds. Despite a promising start, a run of bad results over the winter period saw the club slip down the table. Barry Hunter took over as caretaker player-manager but they were relegated in 22nd place after losing their last three games of the season, ernie Tippett was confirmed as permanent manager for the start of the 2004–05 season. Hunters contract was not renewed over the summer, the seasons following the Diamonds return to the Football Conference were marred by instability on and off the pitch. Keith Cousins took over the club in November 2006 and resigned in 2011 and he was replaced by Liam Beasant and Gary Calder, the latter of whom himself quit the club just weeks after taking over. Meanwhile, five managers took control of the team at different times, during their first three seasons back in Englands fifth division the Diamonds failed to finish in the top ten
Southern Football League
Together with the Isthmian League and the Northern Premier League it forms levels seven and eight of the English football league system. The structure of the Southern League has changed several times since its formation in 1894, the Premier Division is at step 3 of the National League System, and is a feeder division, mainly to the National League South but also to the National League North. Feeding the Premier Division are two divisions, Division One South & West and Division One Central, which are at step 4 of the NLS. These divisions are in turn fed by various regional leagues, professional football developed more slowly in Southern England than in Northern England. Additionally, a league, the Southern Alliance was founded in 1892, with seven clubs from the region. Nonetheless, another attempt was made to form the Southern League, a competition for both professional and amateur clubs was founded in 1894 under the initiative of Millwall Athletic. Initially only one division was envisaged, but such was the enthusiasm, the sixteen founder members were, 2nd Scots Guards withdrew before the first season started and were replaced by Southampton St Marys. Woolwich Arsenal attempted to add their reserve side to the second division, the Southern League soon became the dominant competition below The Football League in Southern and Central England. By the turn of the century a few of the Southern League sides began to rival the Football League in the FA Cup, Two Southern League clubs, Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur reached the final of the FA Cup around the turn of the century. Tottenham Hotspur are the club from below the 2nd level of English football to have won the FA Cup. The champions of the two leagues during this period met in the annual Charity Shield, in 1907, it accepted Bradford Park Avenue, a northern club, as a member, reflecting its senior position at the time. In 1920, virtually the top division of the Southern League was absorbed by the Football League to become that leagues new Third Division. A year later the Third Division was expanded and regionalised, the Third Division clubs from the previous season became the Third Division South, with the addition of the Third Division North. Of the original members, six – Gillingham, Luton Town, Millwall, Reading. For the next six decades, the Football League and Southern League would exchange a number of clubs as a result of the older leagues re-election process. From 1920 onward, the Southern Leagues status as a league was firmly established. In turn, the APL would eventually succeed in becoming a feeder to the Football League, the league lost more of its top clubs in 2004 when the Conference added two regional divisions below the existing National League, the Conference South and Conference North. The first sponsor of the Southern League was Beazer Homes who sponsored the league from 1987–96, the sponsors after Beazer Homes to the present day are, Dr Martens, British Gas, Zamaretto, Evo-Stik, Calor Gas, and Evo-Stik
Kit (association football)
In association football, kit is the standard equipment and attire worn by players. The sports Laws of the Game specify the minimum kit which a player must use, footballers generally wear identifying numbers on the backs of their shirts. Professional clubs also usually display players surnames or nicknames on their shirts, Football kit has evolved significantly since the early days of the sport when players typically wore thick cotton shirts, knickerbockers and heavy rigid leather boots. The Laws of the Game set out the equipment which must be worn by all players in Law 4. Five separate items are specified, shirt, shorts, socks, footwear, goalkeepers are allowed to wear tracksuit bottoms instead of shorts. While most players wear studded football boots, the Laws do not specify that these are required, shirts must have sleeves, and goalkeepers must wear shirts which are easily distinguishable from all other players and the match officials. Thermal undershorts may be worn, but must be the colour as the shorts themselves. Shin pads must be covered entirely by the stockings, be made of rubber, plastic or a similar material, and provide a reasonable degree of protection. The only other restriction on equipment defined in the Laws of the Game is the requirement that a player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous to himself or another player. In the event of a match between teams who would wear identical or similar colours the away team must change to a different colour. The England national team plays in red shirts even when it is not required. Many professional clubs also have a kit, ostensibly to be used if both their first-choice and away colours are deemed too similar to those of an opponent. Most professional clubs have retained the basic colour scheme for several decades. Teams representing countries in international competition generally wear national colours in common with other sporting teams of the same nation, shirts are normally made of a polyester mesh, which does not trap the sweat and body heat in the same way as a shirt made of a natural fibre. Depending on local rules, there may be restrictions on how large these logos may be or on what logos may be displayed, competitions such as the Premier League may also require players to wear patches on their sleeves depicting the logo of the competition. The captain of team is usually required to wear an elasticated armband around the left sleeve to identify him as the captain to the referee. Most current players wear specialist football boots, which can be either of leather or a synthetic material. Modern boots are cut slightly below the ankles, as opposed to the high-ankled boots used in former times, studs may be either moulded directly to the sole or be detachable, normally by means of a screw thread
Away colours are a choice of coloured clothing used in team sports. They are required to be worn by one team during a game between teams that would wear the same colours as each other, or similar colours. This change prevents confusion for officials, players, and spectators, in most sports it is the visiting team that must change – second-choice kits are commonly known as away kits or change kits in British English, and road uniforms in American English. Some sports leagues mandate that teams must always wear an alternative kit. In some sports, conventionally the home team has changed its kit, in most cases, a team wears its away kit only when its primary kit would clash with the colours of the home team. However, sometimes teams wear away colours by choice, occasionally even in a home game, at some clubs, the away kit has become more popular than the home version. Replica home and away kits are available for fans to buy. Some teams also have produced third-choice kits, or even old-fashioned throwback uniforms, in American sports, road teams usually wear a change uniform regardless of a potential colour clash. Further, almost all road uniforms are white in American football, in the National Basketball Association, home uniforms are white or yellow, and visiting teams wear a darker colour. In the United States, color vs. color games are a rarity, most teams choose to wear their color jerseys at home, with the road team changing to white in most cases. White road uniforms gained prominence with the rise of television in the 1950s, a white vs. color game was easier to follow in black-and-white. According to Phil Hecken, until the mid 1950′s, not only was color versus color common in the NFL, even long after the advent of color television, the use of white jerseys has remained in almost every game. The NFLs current rules require that a home jerseys must be either white or official team color throughout the season. If a team insists on wearing its home uniforms on the road, the road team might instead wear a third jersey, such as the Seattle Seahawks Wolf Grey alternate. According to the Gridiron Uniform Database, the Cleveland Browns wore white for home game of the 1955 season. The only times they wore brown was for games at Philadelphia and the New York Giants, in 1964 the Baltimore Colts, Browns, Vikings and Rams wore white regularly for their home games according to Tim Brulias research. The St. Louis Cardinals wore white for several of their home games, until 1964 Dallas had worn blue at home, but it was not an official rule that teams should wear their colored jerseys at home. The use of white jerseys was instigated by general manager Tex Schramm, the Cowboys still wear white at home today
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies making it the worlds most popular sport, the game is played on a rectangular field with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by getting the ball into the opposing goal, players are not allowed to touch the ball with their hands or arms while it is in play, unless they are goalkeepers. Other players mainly use their feet to strike or pass the ball, the team that scores the most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is level at the end of the game, the Laws of the Game were originally codified in England by The Football Association in 1863. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football, the first written reference to the inflated ball used in the game was in the mid-14th century, Þe heued fro þe body went, Als it were a foteballe. The Online Etymology Dictionary states that the word soccer was split off in 1863, according to Partha Mazumdar, the term soccer originated in England, first appearing in the 1880s as an Oxford -er abbreviation of the word association. Within the English-speaking world, association football is now usually called football in the United Kingdom and mainly soccer in Canada and the United States. People in Australia, Ireland, South Africa and New Zealand use either or both terms, although national associations in Australia and New Zealand now primarily use football for the formal name. According to FIFA, the Chinese competitive game cuju is the earliest form of football for which there is scientific evidence, cuju players could use any part of the body apart from hands and the intent was kicking a ball through an opening into a net. It was remarkably similar to football, though similarities to rugby occurred. During the Han Dynasty, cuju games were standardised and rules were established, phaininda and episkyros were Greek ball games. An image of an episkyros player depicted in low relief on a vase at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens appears on the UEFA European Championship Cup, athenaeus, writing in 228 AD, referenced the Roman ball game harpastum. Phaininda, episkyros and harpastum were played involving hands and violence and they all appear to have resembled rugby football, wrestling and volleyball more than what is recognizable as modern football. As with pre-codified mob football, the antecedent of all football codes. Non-competitive games included kemari in Japan, chuk-guk in Korea and woggabaliri in Australia, Association football in itself does not have a classical history. Notwithstanding any similarities to other games played around the world FIFA have recognised that no historical connection exists with any game played in antiquity outside Europe. The modern rules of football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the widely varying forms of football played in the public schools of England
Rushden is a town and civil parish in the county of Northamptonshire, England. The parish of Rushden covers an area of some 9,000 acres, the population of Rushden is 29,272, making it the fifth largest town in the county. The Rushden-Higham urban area, which includes the town of Higham Ferrers, has an estimated population of 36,410. Rushden lies on the A6 midway between Bedford and Kettering, the southern limits of the town border on the county of Bedfordshire, and to its north lies the River Nene which flows into The Wash. Rushden lies in a valley, with a stream or brook known as Sidney Brook flowing through the centre of the town. During the late 1960s and 70s this stream was culverted to prevent flash flooding, from whichever way Rushden is approached, the streets and roads can be seen stretching out in the valley, with the spire of St Marys church prominent above its rooftops. Peter Bone MP is the local MP representing Wellingborough, as a result of recent electoral changes, Rushden has been divided into five wards for both District and Town Council purposes. With the following re-classifications, Rushden Spencer, Rushden Hayden, Rushden Bates, Rushden Sartoris, Rushdens growth has resulted from a number of industries, including lacemaking and farming, and especially shoemaking and associated trades. In the mid-1900s there were well over 100 boot and shoe factories in Rushden, one of the most renowned is Sanders and Sanders, which makes boots for the British Army and several other defence departments throughout the world. Some of the redundant factories have been converted into flats, today, as with many towns in England, industry in the town is varied, and mostly situated in an out-of-town industrial estate. As with the industry, town centre shopping in Rushden has changed considerably although there are many shops. Rushden has the oldest toy shop in the county, in 1893 a short branch line railway opened linking Rushden and Higham Ferrers with the Midland Main Line. The line was closed in 1959 and dismantled, in 1991 the trackbed was converted into a pocket park. The former Rushden railway station is now owned by the Rushden Historical Transport Society, the society often holds special events, including an annual 3-day transport cavalcade. The society aims to rebuild the line from Higham Ferrers to Wellingborough. There is also a privately owned museum in Rushden which is situated in the towns Hall Park and it is open between the months of May and October. Rushden Hall is the oldest domestic building in the town, once owned by families throughout the years including the Sartoris family. The hall now functions as the office of the town council
Northamptonshire, archaically known as the County of Northampton, is a county in the East Midlands of England. In 2011, it had a population of 629,000, the county is administered by Northamptonshire County Council and seven non-metropolitan district councils. Northamptonshire is the southernmost county in the East Midlands region, apart from the county town of Northampton, other large population centres include Kettering, Corby, Wellingborough, Rushden and Daventry. Northamptonshires county flower is the cowslip, there are two more possible hill-forts at Arbury Hill and Thenford. In the 1st century BC, most of what later became Northamptonshire became part of the territory of the Catuvellauni, a Belgic tribe, the Catuvellauni were in turn conquered by the Romans in 43 AD. The Roman road of Watling Street passed through the county, there were other Roman settlements at Northampton, Kettering and along the Nene Valley near Raunds. A large fort was built at Longthorpe, after the Romans left, the area eventually became part of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia, and Northampton functioned as an administrative centre. The Mercians converted to Christianity in 654 AD with the death of the pagan king Penda, Northamptonshire was conquered again in 940, this time by the Vikings of York, who devastated the area, only for the county to be retaken by the English in 942. Consequently, it is one of the few counties in England to have both Saxon and Danish town-names and settlements, the county was first recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, as Hamtunscire, the scire of Hamtun. The North was added to distinguish Northampton from the other important Hamtun further south, Rockingham Castle was built for William the Conqueror and was used as a Royal fortress until Elizabethan times. In 1460, during the Wars of the Roses, the Battle of Northampton took place, the now-ruined Fotheringhay Castle was used to imprison Mary, Queen of Scots, before her execution. George Washington, the first President of the United States of America, was born into the Washington family who had migrated to America from Northamptonshire in 1656. George Washingtons ancestor, Lawrence Washington, was Mayor of Northampton on several occasions and it was George Washingtons great-grandfather, John Washington, who emigrated in 1656 from Northants to Virginia. Before Washingtons ancestors moved to Sulgrave, they lived in Warton, King Charles I was imprisoned at Holdenby House in 1647. In 1823 Northamptonshire was said to a pure and wholesome air because of its dryness. Its livestock were celebrated, Horned cattle, and other animals, are fed to extraordinary sizes, in summer, the county hosted a great number of wealthy families. Country seats and villas are to be seen at every step, Northamptonshire is still referred to as the county of spires and squires because of the numbers of stately homes and ancient churches. In the 18th and 19th centuries, parts of Northamptonshire and the area became industrialised
Raunds Town F.C.
Raunds Town F. C. is a football club based at Raunds, Northamptonshire, England. The play in the United Counties League Division One and they were FA Vase semi-finalists in 1994–95. Raunds Town was founded in 1946, there had been other teams with Raunds in the title as long ago as 1896–97, but at a meeting in the towns Temperance Hall in May 1946 a new amalgamated club was formed. The club is nicknamed The Shopmates in reference to the boot and shoe industry. In 1950 the Shopmates joined the United Counties League, playing in the Second Division and they did not set the league on fire, and after switching between the divisions settled in Division One after the former first division was redesignated the Premier Division. Raunds Town embarked upon an ambitious programme, having played at Greenhouse Field for two years at the start, they moved to The Berristers for thirty-three seasons and in 1991 they moved to Kiln Park. The stadium adjacent to the A45 was designed to host football at a higher level, the Shopmates’ on-field performance matched this munificence. In 1994–95 the Shopmates lost the FA Vase semi-final against Arlesey Town having led 3–0 after the first leg, the following season they were eliminated in the quarter-final by Bristol club Mangotsfield United. In 2006–07 the Shopmates eliminated Isthmian League side Enfield from the FA Cup by way of a 2–1 away win, meanwhile, in the United Counties League, the leadership of manager Keith Burt led an assault on the top of the table. Having lost out on the championship on goal difference in 1994–95 and they were duly promoted to the Southern League, where they took their place in the Midland Division. This had financial implications, not least the cost of travelling, manager Keith Burt resigned, and the club had little option but to apply for re-admission to the United Counties League at the end of 1999–2000. In the 2012–13 season, Raunds Town are playing in the United Counties Football League Division One, led by manager Stuart Brown