The End Is Nigh For Kettering Town


Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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9 Responses

  1. Joe - Vancouver Canada says:

    A tragedy for a club with a great tradition. Everybody should read Ian’s article from last week – it is a terribly sad story. There are many similarities to my own club Portsmouth F.C. and the more the long drawn out administration continues (is Trevor Birch dead or just sleeping?) I am coming to believe we should just bite the bullet and accept liquidation. This would really wipe the slate clean and we must start again from the bottom playing football purely for the love of football. Play up Pompey (and Kettering).

  2. jertzee says:

    In my first season supporting Wimbledon in 1976 we played Kettering in front of over 4,000 people.

    Sad to see the club go this way.
    Take it on the chin, restart a supporters owned club and don’t let anyone screw it up for you.

  3. Tony Mee says:

    I came down to play a pre-season friendly with Rotherham United and its a shame that it has come to this for any club. Hope the fans get some sort of re-birth and start again in their home town.

  4. Alan Jenkins says:

    R&DFC and its supporters were played like Stradivarius violins into an early and undeserved grave (plastic supporter tags notwithstanding) by the same type of people who have now done for their successors in the elephants’ graveyard called Nene Park.

    At the time of our demise – I ought to say that I was the Fans’ Chaplain at R&DFC, and I am the Fans’ Chaplain at AFCR&D – there were many, many Kettering Town fans who could not contain their glee, and made their baser feelings known on fans’ forums all over the internet, including ours. It would not be an exaggeration to say that barely a day went past without someone gloating about the way twenty mostly glory-filled years ended.

    Thankfully for us, we proved that, far from being plastic, our supporters had more backbone than anyone gave us credit for, and began straight away to rebuild a team and a club that we could all be proud of, rather than one to despair about. This isn’t the place to mention how successful this endeavour has been to date, but we are immensely hopeful for our – sustainable – future.

    In the meantime, those same Kettering supporters who were gloating at our demise would not listen when we warned them of what was to come if they made the mistake of supporting Ladak in climbing into our deathbed before the sheets had cooled, let alone been changed… and if you think that is a somewhat strained metaphor, look for photos on the ‘Net showing Kettering Town players training in abandoned R&DFC training kit shortly after taking over at Nene Park!

    The strains of “I told you so” will no doubt floating around the pubs of East Northants tonight – along with “7-0, and the dog said no”, doubtless – because we did, indeed, tell them so, and they, because of twenty years of bitterness, jealousy, frustration and stubbornness, would not listen, or allowed themselves to be deluded into believing that this time all would be well.

    They say that the sign of insanity is to repeat an action and expect a different result: if that is true, then the fans of Kettering Town – or at least those who made the arduous trip those eight long miles down the A6 – have been suffering from untreated corporate insanity since that infamous Wicksteed Park meeting at which they raised their hands to vote to embrace the vain hope of progress.

    All that – combined with the twenty year long bitter rivalry which saw R&DFC showered with success and trophies whilst Kettering Town draped its wizened one hundred and twenty year old shoulders in the threadbare comfort blanket of their uneventful history – ought to mean that the fans of the re-born Diamonds are tonight taking our own gleeful turn at sneering contempt.

    And of course, some of us are, because we’re human beings… but the vast majority of us (and how good it is to be building our fanbase to such an extent that the phrase “the vast majority” doesn’t mean the three drunks propping up the bar and the taxi driver who takes them home) are calling on true Poppies fans to take this as an opportunity to jettison their recent past and re-claim their history and take back their club from the jokers who combined to deprive them of it. We are pledging our support, if it’s asked for, and the benefit of our experience.

    It’s true, we want them back in Kettering, much as we want, and plan, to be back in Rushden, for reasons of self-interest. It’s time the cuckoo fled the nest.

    We want the rivalry back: when you look at the playing record between the two teams since R&DFC were formed, who wouldn’t?

    Most of all though, we recognise that by far the majority of Poppies fans are people like us: hard-working, ordinary, not particularly well off people from the industrial and post-industrial villages and towns of Northamptonshire. People who have, depending on which way you look at it, have either been royally shafted by the unscrupulous or led astray by the incompetent. People who, like us, are perfectly capable, freed from the manacles of mismanagement by egocentric faux entrepreneurs, of rebuilding a Club true to the original principles of Association Football, a club of which they can once again be proud, a club ready to be hammered once more by the mighty Diamonds….!

    Sorry about the last bit of that paragraph, I couldn’t resist it…

    Come on Poppies, straighten up, square the shoulders, wipe your mouths and walk away. That chapter’s over. Time to turn the page, and begin the rest of the story.

  5. As another AFCR&D member I concur with Alan’s analysis above. It’s devastating to lose the club you’ve been part of for so many years, with so much time and emotion poured into it.

    It’s interesting that on the same day that 304 fans turned up to watch Kettering Town’s final match (probably), 1,157 fans turned up to watch AFC Rushden & Diamonds beat Rushden & Higham United 4-0 in the local derby. That AFCR&D managed to attract almost 4 times as many spectators as Kettering Town in a league 3 steps below is amazing and instructive.

    Kettering fans may be in shock and in mourning, but the darkness can be followed by daylight.

    Already some Kettering fans have formed their own club: Kettering Football Club (KFC) that have a team competing in the Northants Senior Youth League. If enough fans join, the new club is seriously considering applying for membership in the United Counties Football League Division One – the same league that AFCR&D are now competing in.

    So while the original club is about to be consumed, a phoenix is already rising from its ashes.

  6. DR says:

    Wise words above regarding reforming the club, and casting aside the false (would-be) messiahs of KTFC, hard work though it will be.

    Once the final curtain has fallen (maybe after a turkey shoot away to table-topping Leamington on Tuesday?), it’d be good to see a full probe into the governance of Ladak and George ‘Sausage’ Rolls at KTFC. Just what this pair have attempted to achieve defies logical explanation – as with the various owners of Portsmouth in recent times, and other benighted clubs, a proper judgment day for such club-destroying charlatans cannot come soon enough.

  7. Iain Stewart says:

    Originally from the West Midlands and born in to supporting the Villa, I’ve lived in East Northants for the last 12 years and watched football at various levels in various places locally since then. Desperately sad to see R&D and now Kettering die. I like the area, I like the people and it seems borderline criminal what has happened around here. I suppose I have 2 points to make :

    1. I like that R&D appear to be aiming for something sustainable. It is maybe sad that Mr Griggs didn’t try to do the same 20 years ago. Although I don’t doubt he only ever wanted to create something special for local people the imperative should always have been to create something special for local people that would last! However, compared to Mr Ladak………

    2. I no longer buy a daily paper. I never thought this day would arrive but I actually want to read news in my papers and for my sports news to reflect that there are actually more people in this country who choose every weekend to pay to watch football that ISN’T the Premier League. What has happened to Portsmouth, Kettering, Leeds etc etc over time should have been manna from heaven for a genuinely investigative reporter and newspaper and yet Portsmouth seemed only to be national news while in the top flight, ditto Leeds, Blackburn, Birmingham and so forth, all clubs with currently murky or incompetent ownership in place. The moral seems to be that if you’re going to screw up a local community’s football club, just do it away from the Premier League!

    Sorry if the above isn’t very interesting

  8. Steve L says:

    I’m a Luton fan and I’ve lived in Northants for the last 25 years so I’ve seen the rise and fall of R&DFC and all the stuff that happened.

    For me KTFC deserve what they’re experiencing. I know that’s not a nice thing to say but their fans voted to move our of their own borough, out of their own town, like an American sports franchise but worse. They spent 20 years criticising their local rivals for glory hunting and called Nene Park ‘Legoland’, yet they didn’t see anything wrong with jumping into the Diamonds’ stadium at the first opportunity when Ladak promised them League football. KTFC died at that point, what’s the point of being Kettering Town FC if you vote to move out of Kettering Town?

    I hope Kettering FC can emulate what AFC R&D have and try and get back to Kettering. They should never have left in the first place, it was very obviously never going to work.

    R&D fans warned them about how the stadium was a money pit. They didn’t listen.

    They warned them that Cousins was an unscrupulous landlord. They didn’t listen.

    Cambridge fans warned them about Rolls. They didn’t listen. Weymouth fans warned them about Rolls and they still didn’t listen. Pretty much everyone knew he was a crook, including the FA, yet they just watched his involvement. Hopefully this will teach them to be more proactive in the future, as a fans’ club.

  1. October 8, 2012

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