Diamonds legends to return for ‘centrepiece’ of summer fundraising effort

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The worlds of AFC Rushden & Diamonds and the original Rushden & Diamonds are set to collide in the “centrepiece” of the phoenix club’s fundraising campaign this summer.

Towards the end of a tough season both on and off the pitch at Hayden Road, Diamonds revealed plans for their ‘Save Our Summer’ campaign in which they will bid to raise £25,000 to help ease their financial pressures ahead of next season, which will see them back at Step 4 after relegation from the Southern League Premier Central.

And, as part of the initiative, the club have announced plans for a star-studded Legends Game between a squad of AFC Diamonds past players and a team of legendary figures from the days of the original club at Nene Park.

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The match will take place at Hayden Road on Sunday, July 30 and some big names have already been confirmed with Duane Darby, Barry Hunter, Curtis Osano and Simeon Jackson featuring for the Rushden & Diamonds team while Tom Lorraine, Liam Dolman and Brad Harris will play for AFC.

Duane Darby will be one of the legendary names featuring at Hayden Road on July 30Duane Darby will be one of the legendary names featuring at Hayden Road on July 30
Duane Darby will be one of the legendary names featuring at Hayden Road on July 30

More names will be revealed in the build-up to the day, which vice-chairman Alex Raspin hopes will be one to remember.

“It is going to be the centrepiece, if you like, of our Save Our Summer campaign to raise the £25,000,” he said.

“We’re not daft, we know we’re not going to raise that through donations from a hardcore supporter base of 300 or 400 so we have to lay these events on to generate some interest and get people through the gates.

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“But it’s more than that, it’s a good event to bring AFC Rushden & Diamonds into the consciousness of previous Rushden & Diamonds fans.

“We have been blown away by the response from the players who are going to feature.

“Some have been announced and there are some that will soon be announced that we have been shocked by to be honest.

“Just last week, we got one we were desperate for when we were putting the idea together.

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“It’s still all coming together but some people have been almost emotional to have been asked and others have been falling over themselves to help support the event if they can.

“It’s been absolutely brilliant and plenty of tickets have already been sold.

“I have this dream that we are going to sell Hayden Road out but I am hoping the interest that an event like this can generate will lead to a big crowd.

“And that is obviously important, given the cause and that it is the centrepiece of our campaign.”

Tickets for the game can be purchased by visiting

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