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Article by Nigel Chettle, 2016
The Sports Grounds of Rushden

Baptist Sports Pavillion at Allen Road Ground

Hayden Road. Football. Home of Rushden Town until the amalgamation with Irthlingbororough Diamonds. Taken over by Rushden Rangers who amalgamated with Higham Town to form Rushden & Higham United. Newton Road Junior School played their matches here. In the 1960’s greyhound racing was staged in the summer months, Wrestling also took place here in the early 1960’s. [Rushden & Diamonds played at Nene Park, Irthlingborough]

Shorts Stocks. Cricket, Football & Tennis, District Junior School Sports Day & Hockey.  The ground was opened on the 14th. June 1889 with a cricket match against Northamptonshire Club & Ground. Rushden Town Football Club played their home football games here until the present football ground was purchased in 1922. Rushden were members of the United League in the latter years of the ninteenth century, which involved Reserve Teams of famous League teams. Tottenham Hotspur Reserves played here and were once beaten 5-2 by Rushden. The away game would have been at their Northumberland Park ground and not the present White Hart Lane ground. Home of Rushden Town Cricket Club and used by Northamptonshire for an annual first class cricket from 1926 until 1963. District Junior Schools held their annual Sports Day on this ground in July. Rushden Town Hockey Club played their home games here.

Baptist Field. The original ground of Rushden Thursday Cricket Club at the top of Allen Road. Cricket, Tennis & Bowls. were played on this ground. The Baptist Cricket team played in the Kettering and District League and the Northamptonshire County League. Rushden Mission played friendly games on the ground in its latter years. The ground was sold for housing in 1995. See picture at top of page.

Spencer Park. Football, Cricket, Tennis, Bowls and Putting. Many local football teams played at the Park including Rushden United, C.Y.A., Amateurs, Park, Oakley, Trades, Dynamo, St. Peters. Rushden United played Cricket for many years until they moved to Bedford due to the lack of facilities and poor ground conditions.

Jubilee Park. Football, Cricket & Rugby Union.

Manor Ground. Rugby Union. Rushden & Higham Rugby Club had played at various grounds including at the rear of Higham Station, Toll Bar, Vine Hill Drive and John Whites Sports ground where they used the famous large tin bath.

John Whites Sports Ground. Rugby Union, Football, Cricket, Bowls, Golf. John White's Sunday football team played their home games here in the early years of the Rushden & District Sunday League.

Mission Field Gravely Street. Cricket was played on this ground.

Eaton’s Works. Works ground used by employees for Bowls & Tennis.

Commonwealth Sports Ground. John Cave & Sons set out a sports area on part of their land, with a pavilion, for their employees. The ground was used for tennis, bowls, and sports days for the children of the employees.

Eastfields.  Football. Used by Alfred Street School for games lessons. Rushden Victoria played home games on this ground. Now the home of Denfield School.

Hayway. Rushden Intermediate School Old Boys played Rushden Minor League Football on the School Ground. Later changed their name to Rushden Amateurs and moved to Spencer Park.

Wymington Road. Cricket and Athletics. Rushden Star Cricket Club played on this ground.

Pightles. Cricket played here on what is now Cordwainers Housing, until the club moved to Wymington Road and then Short Stocks

Windmill Sports Ground. There was a football pitch at the back of the Windmill Club where the club's own team played home games. Rushden Baptist played cricket here at the turn of the century until their move to Allen Road.This facility was also used in games lessons by the boys of Rushden Secondary School for Boys. Pemberton Sports Centre was built upon the site. Known locally as the ‘Sheep Pen’.

Bowls Club. Northampton Road. Indoor and outdoor greens.

The Hedges. Rugby Union, former home of Rushden & Higham Rugby Club. The Green Dragon Hotel was used for changing rooms and after match entertainment.

Boundary Avenue. Used originally by Rushden Boys school for cross country. When the Sports Centre was opened it was used by the renamed Pemberton School for as a sports field. Changing rooms were built on the site and the ground was used on Sundays for local football matches. When the school amalgamated with Chichele School in 1991 the ground became redundant and the changing rooms were demolished. The land is still used by walkers.

Golf Club. Kimbolton Road. There are also records of golf being played in the field in Queen Street with the cricket pavilion being used for changing and storage of equipment. The Rushden Echo of 1909 records the following:- The links are situated in the fields at the back of the late Mr. Thomas Brommage’s house in Upper Queen-street, the position being a very pleasant and healthy one.

Tibbs Field, off Newton Road. Rushden Baptist played football and cricket here at the turn of the 20th centuary.

22 Higham Road, the Beeches. Site of Asda. Bowls was played here.

Rear of Queen Victoria Hotel. Bowls played.

Boxing took place at the Athletic Club in Newton Road.

Wrestling took place upstairs at the Windmill Club and at Hayden Road home of Rushden Town Football Club.  Popular Rushden brothers Ken and Doug Joyce were often on the programme.

The stand
Rushden Town Football Club Stand c1950
cricket pavilion
Cricket Pavillion

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