Talking Football - Bones need answers in a fight for survival

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The final four fixtures of the season could mark the end of an era at Rothwell Town.

That’s the reality of a very sad situation which just seems to be getting even worse.

Last week, long-serving secretary Roger Barratt – one of those officials who deserves so much credit for all his efforts over the years – called the Evening Telegraph sports desk to report further vandalism at Cecil Street.

First-team manager Dave Williams, who has also remained wonderfully loyal to the club, provided another statement on the official website before the Easter weekend.

He wrote: “In three weeks, administrators at Glasgow Rangers – with daily updates to the world via Sky News etc – today have announced that it will all be sorted by the end of this season.

“Why are we, also a football club, any different and why can some administrators do daily updates to the world but not one word, I repeat, one word, from our administrators?

“Are we entering into our last few games?”

Those questions really should be answered and it looks like a final plea for help.

On the pitch, at least there was some good news on Saturday when Rothwell ended a run of 14 successive defeats by beating Sileby Rangers 2-0.

The derby defeat at Corinthians on Monday, though, leaves the Bones 10 points adrift (the figure taken away through administration) at the bottom of the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League’s Division One.

Williams’ youthful side seem certain to concede more than 100 goals this term but there are much more important issues.

The average attendance in 14 home league games is 69 – the third highest in the division and double Corinthians’ crowds.

Rothwell were regularly getting more than 100 supporters in the Southern League before dropping down to the UCL where the club probably belongs.

My first responsibility on becoming a full-time member of the ET’s sports team was covering every match at Cecil Street.

Those were good times with Jack Murray’s squad battling to stay in the Premier Division against the likes of Boston United, Bath City and Merthyr Tydfil.

It’s such a shame to see Rothwell in a big fight for survival now.

They have a proper history going back to being formed as Rothwell Town Swifts in 1895 as founder members of the Northamptonshire Senior League.

For those who are unaware, the nickname derives from the bone crypt in the town’s Holy Trinity Church – one of only three in the country.

Football fans across the county will certainly know all about more recent times with all the highs and lows.

Over the last 20 years, Rothwell have gone from UCL success to upgrading the ground which allowed them into what was then known as the Beazer Homes League Midland Division.

They soon gained promotion to the Dr Martens Premier Division and, following further improvements, the club began playing at the highest level of football in their history.

Rothwell’s stay in the top flight lasted three seasons with relegation confirmed in 1999-2000 and bringing an end to Murray’s 24-year association with the club.

After several seasons in the regional divisions, financial problems ultimately led to the Bones taking voluntary resignation from the Southern League into the UCL.

Last season they claimed a creditable sixth-place finish.

Let’s hope they simply find the answers in the next few weeks to stay alive.