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You are in: Northamptonshire » A Sense Of Place

Tuesday 2nd April 2002- 12:00 BST, 11:00 GMT
Scenic view of Irthlingborough
Scenic view of Irthlingborough.

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The local community of Irthlingborough in East Northants is connected to boots in more ways than one.

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Rushden & Diamonds

Rushden & Diamonds Official Site

Dr Martins

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Not only is it home to one of the most famous makes of footwear in the world: Dr Martins, but there are connections of a sporting kind with Rushden and Diamonds Football Club.

Indeed, Max Griggs is not only the owner of Dr Martins and Airwear, but he is also the man behind the rise and rise of the local football team.

Irthlingborough Diamonds and Rushden Town merged in 1992 after both teams had struggled over previous seasons to perform.

Max Griggs stepped in to help finance the new club, transforming both team and stadium in the process.

Max Griggs and a kids football team.
Max Griggs with a team of footballing youngsters.

Max says " It meant a lot to me for a long time football. I’ve always had a great passion for it".

The team also holds training sessions for youngsters who enjoy learning new football skills.

Another local businesswoman has help transform a company into a world beater.
Barbara Thomas used to be a lawyer and banker in New York, but now runs Whitworth Foods.

Barbara Thomas food tasting
Barbara Thomas (right) tasting a new product at Whitworth Foods.

Barbara explains "I am absolutely passionate about food. I have for my whole life wanted to own a food company".

In 1997 Barbara took over Whitworths. The company produces around 2 million products a day at its factories in the town.


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