The spotlight will be shining on AFC Rushden & Diamonds when they feature in a new BT Sport film next week.
The documentary entitled ‘Ours’ will premiere on BT Sport 1 at 10.30pm next Tuesday (March 2) night and will offer a unique insight into modern football away from the glitz and financial strength of the Premier League.
It will focus on clubs that are run by or are heavily influenced by their fans while offering an in-depth examination of a variety of ownership models.
It’s nearly 10 years since AFC Rushden & Diamonds was formed from the ashes of Rushden & Diamonds and, over the past decade, the club has risen from the United Counties League Division One to the Southern League Premier Central where they currently play.
Diamonds’ part in the film will focus on how a phoenix club has dealt with the constraints of the Covid-19 pandemic.
And they were only too happy to play a part in the new film having been approached by BT Sport.
“When we were approached by BT sport, we felt it was definitely something we wanted to get involved with,” said vice-chairman Jon Ward.
“We have worked with them in the past and, with the subject of phoenix clubs being so close to our heart ,we were able to find some time during the second lockdown to film at Hayden Road and be a part of the programme.”
The film will feature contributions from fans, players and owners from up and down the footballing pyramid, including Diamonds boss Andy Peaks who said: “When the club asked me to get involved with the film, I was more than happy to help.
“This club is very different from any other and does special things and I was delighted that BT Sport are highlighting this.”
Other clubs featured include Bury AFC, AFC Wimbledon, Portsmouth, Ebbsfleet United, Lewes FC and Hashtag United with the focus changing between various aspects of fan-owned clubs.
The documentary is the third collaboration between BT Sport Films and Calvin, with each film looking at the broader, more human impacts of the sport.
It follows No Hunger in Paradise, which explored the perils and pitfalls of football’s academies and youth development, and State of Play, an examination of the footballing zeitgeist of the 21st century.
BT Sport executive producer Sally Brown added: “Fans have been missed, and have lost the emotional release of football in return.
“Their passion underpins the game, but we feel it may have been underestimated.
“With clubs suffering from the effects of the pandemic, we wanted to make a film about fans potentially holding the key to the future of football.
“The reason we wanted to feature AFC Rushden & Diamonds is threefold.
“First to explore the original Rushden & Diamonds under the leadership of Max Griggs.
“Secondly, we wanted to reflect the phoenix club of the past decade.
“Finally and most importantly, to explore its innovative decision-making such as its shirt sponsor for the 20/21 season. To see a club’s history inspiring decisions is a wonderful thing to see and we wanted to reflect this.”