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Ground of the week

You are in: London > Radio > The Non League Football Show > Ground of the week > Ground of the week: Hayden Road

Hayden Road

Ground of the week: Hayden Road

In a new series for the summer, Stuart Croll looks at Grounds from days gone by. Want to suggest a forgotten ground for Stuart? Email nonleague@bbc.co.uk

By Stuart Croll (NonLeagueToday)

When football teams merge what becomes of the ground that is no longer used by the amalgamated club? Well in the case of the Rushden & Diamonds merger the Hayden Road ground is still used for football.

Rushden & Diamonds were formed on 21 April 1992  by a merger of Rushden Town and Irthlingborough Diamonds. The merger was the brainchild of Max Griggs  the owner of Dr. Martens

The new club took Rushden Town's place in the Midland Division of the Southern League, but chose to play at Irthlingborough's Nene Park as Hayden Road ­ the home of Rushden - was not good enough for promotion.

Hayden Road

The club had been demoted from the Premier Division the previous season due to the state of their ground. Hayden Road was given to the town for sport in 1922 as a ten acre plot to be shared between cricket and football.

Gradually the two sports played next to each other and a stand facing the football pitch was built. When Rushden Town sold Gordon Inwood to West Bromwich Albion the transfer money was used to concrete three sides of the ground.

Hayden Road

Floodlights were erected in 1976 but the ground was showing its age and the Southern League deemed it as failing to meet its ground grading requirements. So when the new amalgamated club started they chose Nene Park as their home venue and developed that stadium to such an extent it hosted League football.

Hayden Road on the other hand was offered to local juvenile club Rushden Rangers in 1994.

On the 19th May 1995 a meeting was held at Rushden & Diamonds and the offer from Rushden Rangers was made to purchase the facilities of at Hayden Road.

Rushden Rangers

Rushden Rangers played at the old venue until 2007 when they themselves merged with Higham United to become Rushden and Higham United FC. Rushden Rangers continue as a youth football club.

Unlike the Rushden & Diamonds merger the new club decided to play at Hayden Road.
With assistance from the Stadia Improvement fund the old ground was given a bit of an upgrade allowing the new club to play in the United Counties League. Also it is refreshing that an old football ground wasn't lost to a housing or retail development and Hayden Road can still be visited.

last updated: 03/06/2008 at 18:47
created: 03/06/2008

You are in: London > Radio > The Non League Football Show > Ground of the week > Ground of the week: Hayden Road

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