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Rushden Town Football Club
Rushden Town Football Club Badge
Rushden Town Football Club Badge Courtesy of Rushden Museum

1934-5 team
This year they were the first winners of the United Counties League, winners of the
Northants Senior Cup, and champions of the Wellingborough and District League
The picture below came to us in 2012 with a full caption on the back!
May 1935

Back: Downing, Hobbick, Minney, Driver, Spencer, Pruden (capt), Lack, Roper (trainer), Dowsett, King

Middle row: Robinson, Turnock, Paternal, Church, Salisbury, Pettit, Markham, Robinson, Wallington,
Mr Freeman (sec), Mr Sinfield (chairman).

Front: Bates, Eyre, Waite, Inwood, Hillyard (capt), Hindmarsh, Bland, Jolley, York

1934/35 Season with the cups at front
(left-right) Wellingboro’ League UCL Knock-out and United Counties League NFA Senior Cup

This picture by A J George is captioned "Disputed Goal" but we don't know the team or year
Note Fairy Bros have an advert on the stand - so before 1959!

Unknown team
Unknown Team in the snow
Rushden team pre 1939
RushdenTown Team pre 1939

Back row: (l-r) ‘Fatty’ Bates (trainer), Fred Patenall, Bert Markham, Albert Wallington (goal), Johnnie Hindmarsh, Bert Inwood, Reg Bland (Irthlingborough)

Front row: ‘Drip’ Waite, Fanny Hillyard (Capt W’boro), Mick Eyre (N’pton), ‘Spang’ Bryant, Ron Peacock

Photo courtesy of Dennis Maddams - who tells us he was
'Chocolate Boy' 1933/4 and he got 1d in the 1/- commission!

Rushden Echo and Argus, 26th March 1948, transcribed by Kay Collins

He is Now Satisfied

Mr. C. J. Barrick, who will take control of the F.A. Cup Final, told a Rushden friend twenty years ago: "I shan't be satisfied until I have refereed at a Cup Final."

Mr. Barrick played for Rushden about 24 years ago, and four years after he left the town, Mr. Herbert Brown, of Park Avenue, Rushden, saw him playing cricket at Dallington. Said Mr. Barrick: "I have started refereeing. I'm taking it up seriously and I shan't be satisfied until I have refereed at a Cup Final."

Rushden Echo and Argus, 3rd October 1948, transcribed by Kay Collins

One of the palmy periods in Rushden football history is recalled by the death of Mr. Thomas Litchfield (69), who for the last few months had resided at 106, Newton-road, Rushden. “Tommy” Litchfield was born in London and came to Rushden at the age of 17, afterwards playing for Rushden Town F.C. both as amateur and professional. He was an excellent centre-forward but could play efficiently in any of the forward positions. It is declared that he maintained his general cheerfulness in all circumstances, a quality by which he became known as the “Mark Tapley” of the team.

Mr. Lichfield also played for the County XI in company with Hugh Lewis, G. H. Claridge and other Rushden men. click here for the full obituary

Rushden Echo & Argus, 29th July 1949
Rushden Town Footballers found P.T. warm work on Tuesday—their first night of training. Arthur Shatford took pity on them after a time, and said “O.K. boys, relax.”

Left to right : back row: Arthur Shatford, S Toms, W Burgess, G Sail, E Brice, G Stapleton,
W Rochester, J Windsor, H Childs

Front row: S Daniels, V Maddams, D Mantle, D Gell and L Pendered

The Pro's, of Rushden.

Russians' Bold Bid for League Championship
Rushden Town's part in the Northants League campaign and other local competitions promises to be a prominent one, and in a year when the class of football demanded of Northants League clubs is higher than ever, the Rushden team has good reason for confidence. No longer bound down to amateurism, the club has reinforced almost every department, and the reconstructed forward line, in particular, is the town's pride and joy.

The team includes a blend of Division III, inter-county, and Scottish types. Our picture is of the team that twice did duty against the "Wolves." Happily there are other fine players in reserve who can replace any casualty in the ranks.
 undated newsclip
Standing: Lines (trainer), Coles (right half), Frost (right back), Vaughan goalkeeper), Westley (centre half), Hancock (left back), Cox (left half), C Freeman (secretary),
and J Lilley (team manager).
Sitting: Wright, Burnand (captain), Carter, Orr and Chambers (forwards)

Signing Ted Duckhouse
Signing Ted Duckhouse in the early 1950s
Left to right: Bob Broton, Ken Ambridge, Ted Duckhouse, Fred Robinson (chairman), Frank Langley, Vic Walker (committee member), ?.

The Observer, 12th December 1999, transcribed by Kay Collins

Jon Henderson recalls the days at Rushden when they could only have dreamed of a match such as today's at Sheffield.
Too big for their Doc Martens

THIRTY-FIVE YEARS ago I was The Russian. No, not a Russian, who had Anglicised his name after fleeing the Evil Empire, but The Russian, the man who reported on Rushden Town for the Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph.

Alas, The Russian and Rushden Town are no more. The former has been stripped of the wonderfully incongruous nom de plume that provided essential cover in sticky situations. 'Did you see that crap in the ET about Rushden Town?' 'Yes,' I'd say. 'Appalling wasn't it.' 'And the dipstick doesn't have the courage to use his proper name.'

My identity was further protected by a splendid picture byline, a drawing of a fearsome-looking Cossack. Every Saturday evening, The Pink 'Un, the special sporting edition of the paper that carried local and national football scores and reports, would have a row of these drawings. The Friar covered Kettering Town (was too busy being The Russian to wonder what the link was here), The Doughboy wrote on Wellingborough (there was a flour mill adjacent to the ground, I recall), Corby's scribe was The Steelman (iron ore was mined locally), and there were many more.

Each character would appear with one of two expressions, either looking eased that his team had won, or looking downcast to indicate a draw or defeat. The scowling Cossack instantly reduced small children to tears and gave me a feeling of even greater security, certainly compared to The Doughboy, who never looked particularly fierce in his tall white hat.

And what of Rushden Town? Subsumed into Rushden and Diamonds, an amalgam of Rushden Town and Irthlingborough Diamonds. Once sworn enemies struggling to survive in minor leagues, the A6 neighbours were brought together in the early Nineties by the wealth of Max Griggs, the head of a local shoe manufacturers who were made mega-rich when their Doc Martens boots became an international fashion statement.

Good for Mr Griggs, but do we really need Rushden and Diamonds? Or rather, does Northamptonshire need Rushden and Diamonds, a club that serves a largely rural community and yet has facilities of which a big-city club would be proud? Their aim, apparently, is the Premiership, but shouldn't a Premiership club receive a substantial part of their backing from a large, urban community rather than a benevolent plutocrat?

The stand in the 1990s
In the Sixties, Rushden (current population 23,000) and Irthlingborough (6,000) got the support they deserved - a few hundred - rather than the bloated attendances that now gather at Mr Griggs's complex on the banks of the not particularly mighty River Nene.

And The Russian got the accommodation he deserved. The two-seat press box at Rushden's old Hayden Road ground, isolated on the opposite touchline from the Victorian, gable-ended 'grandstand', was like a towering, wooden chicken coop, accessed from the rear by vertiginous steps. In a stiffish breeze, it bucked like a rodeo horse and I feared a prosaic end as the whole structure pitched forward into the mud.

In my time, the secretary of the football club was a lovely man called Ken Ambridge, and it was a thrill to discover last week that he is still going strong at nearly 80. He recalled his first major signing for Rushden in the early Fifties when he bought Ted Duckhouse, a battling centre-half. Duckhouse had been with Walsall and Birmingham, and Rushden learnt that he was being released by his latest club, Northampton. A deal was done, including a house in Rushden that the supporters club secured for £900.

Duckhouse duly gave sterling service, but the club lost money on him. The house they bought him was condemned by the local council and they got only £500 for it. 'I think a Polish bloke bought the site,' says Ambridge. 'He built a hairdresser’s on it and made a packet.' In those days the players were paid £1.10 a week, taxed at 33.3 per cent, with a win bonus of £1 and 10 shillings for a draw.

All of which may sound like an unnecessary outpouring of nostalgic trivia, but the point is Rushden was that sort of footballing town. It enjoyed football but knew instinctively it was not the natural home of a Football League club. Goodness knows what scowl the Cossack would summoned at such pretensions.

But I'd still love to see them stuff Sheffield United at Bramall Lane today.

On the same page: Team News – Rushden have been beaten just once in 10 games, scoring eight goals in their last two.

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