Max, the king of Diamonds, very kindly agreed to conduct a Q&A with the blog. The questions were supplied by Rushden fans themselves.
Are you upset at how the club has fared over the last few years?
I am not too upset at how the club has fared over the last few years, because I can accept that football is a game of changing fortunes. Sometimes good fortune is with you and other times it seems as if you are on a road with no turning. Whilst we have lost our football league status which we strived hard to achieve, at least we are two leagues higher that we were when we first started out in 1992. We can look back on good times and we have a nice stadium, so things can’t be all that bad.
After the somewhat acrimonious take over between the Griggs Group and Keith Cousins, are you satisfied that KC has the best interest of RDFC at heart?
I have met Keith Cousins on a few occasions, and he always gives the impression that he does want to see success at the club and a return to the Football League. He is obviously putting his money into the football club, so he must be looking to see progress.
Obviously Keith Cousins will do his own thing, but personally I would like to see more local business people becoming involved in the boardroom. When I was Chairman I did provide the finance to progress, but I did have on board with me other local businessmen who brought a lot to the club in the way of substantial financial sponsorship. It would be good to see local businesses support the club as they once did. So often football clubs are owned and financed by people who are not local to the area and it must be difficult for them to attract the local business support that is needed.
Would you be willing to help the club by being interviewed by the media/ET and by asking those fans who no longer go to NP to get behind the club and return?
I don’t think me being interviewed by the media would help convince fans to return and support the club. I think people make their own decision and will only come back if the team is successful.
Where do you see us finishing this season?
I don’t think the club will make the play offs this season, after the disastrous January result it was all too clear to see there was no chance. I think the club will finish the season in a position about where they are now, unless the players want to prove me wrong, of course. I would be delighted.
Would you rather have a giant statue of yourself outside our ground or a giant Doc Marten boot in honour of the glory days?
Please, please no giant statue of me at Nene Park, it’s definitely not for me! I was just happy to have enjoyed the good times I had at Nene Park. So let the memories and the past history do all the talking.
Would you ever consider stepping in to save the club if things go that bad?
I would not consider stepping in at Nene Park again. I spent a lot of money there and as I am now getting older I am not looking for the cut and thrust of being involved in football again. I’m just happy to be a regular supporter.
Do you continue to support the club personally just as a fan?
I support RDFC as a fan and still enjoy the football. I enjoy the wins and accept the defeats and I’m grateful for the draws, after that I go home and forget it!
Do you regret anything from you time at RDFC?
I don’t regret anything about my time at RDFC. I spent 11 years there, enjoyed four promotions, went to Cardiff, had cup runs against top teams. Life is too short to have any regrets, but memories will always remain with me, and that’s important.
Do you fancy coming into the De Banke to watch a game with the fans?
I would have no problems coming into the De Banke stand – in fact, on a few occasions when I was Chairman, I did just that – but at present my son and myself have bought season tickets in the North Stand, so we are making good use of that.
What is your best Diamond moment?
When we obtained Football league status, which gave me a lot of satisfaction – the dream had at last come true.
Who is you favourite Diamond player of all time?
I had a lot of favourite Diamond players, but I suppose Paul Underwood was outstanding in his time at the club.
What is you opinion of the current management team?
Since Gary Hill has departed, I must say that Justin Edingburgh looks as if he has started to make a good impression. It is good to see the young players doing so well along with the experienced players of Chris Hope and Andy Burgess. At the moment it is looking quite promising for the club, if they can all stay together I have a feeling that the team could progress in the next couple of years.
After considering a new home end for the supporters as the centre piece of the stadium, how upset were you that the fans were unwilling to move to the Airwair? Had you anticipated this level of resistance from the supporters and, in hindsight, is there anything about the project that you would approach differently – eg. making the Airwair a large terrace and fitting seats to what is currently the De Banke?
I didn’t mind that the supporters didn’t want to go to the Airwair stand. In hindsight I suppose the stadium would have been built differently to what it is today, and maybe at less cost as well, but overall it has worked out well. In order to obtain league status we had to provide a certain amount of seats, so I don’t think we could have built the stand the other way around.
Can you disclose how much money roughly you put into the club?
Football doesn’t come cheap, and over a season it must have cost an average of £2m at league level, so £20m must be roughly what it cost, not of course including the cost of the stadium and land.
What kind of emotions do you experience when watching our games now when taking into account what you have done for the club?
For me it was only ever really about the football. I like to come to Nene Park. All I want to do is see the club do well. The emotions are still there, and I always live in hope that the good times will roll again, and that the stadium and its facilities will be put to full use, as they were intended.
Many thanks to Max for an article that shows, undoubtedly, that he is still the Diamonds’ no.1 fan.