Kirsten (Kit) Dzeryn MBE

The Board of Directors of AFC Rushden & Diamonds are saddened to announce the passing of long-term fan Kirsten (Kit) Dzeryn (nee Green) MBE on the 8th May 2023 after a long and courageous fight with metastatic breast cancer, diagnosed in November 2017 with a forecast life expectancy of no more than 6 months.

Known to her friends and fellow Diamonds fans as Kit, or ‘Diamondstrees11’ on Twitter, she  has been a valued member of the Rushden & Diamonds family since the mid-nineties with her first game being the 96/97 away match at local rivals Kettering Town FC. Interestingly, Kit and her dad inadvertently ended up sitting in the main stand at the Kettering ground amongst the home fans. That didn’t stop 12-year old Kit enthusiastically celebrating each Diamonds goal and an emphatic win to the bemusement of the surrounding Poppies faithful.

Kit and her family attended as many games as possible throughout the time of the original RDFC team, sitting originally in the family section of the South Stand at Nene Park before being relocated to the opposite corner in the North Stand. Having a good view of the score board, there were many highs points and memories created for the family, among of the best of which were the famous FA Cup 3rd Round matches against Leeds United at Nene Park and Elland Road.

Kit attended University at Aberystwyth but still contrived to get back to as many home and away games as she could, always retaining her season ticket. This passion for her beloved Diamonds continued throughout her life. Whilst this season wasn’t anywhere near as successful as any of us wanted, Kit always looked forward to making the trip with husband and love of her life Phil to Hayden Road from their Gloucestershire home, also attending away games whenever they could.

Kit fought long and hard with her own failing body, relishing each day of her life and lived every single one as if it were her last. She maximised her potential by becoming physically fitter than ever before, by working out at the gym and by walking for miles each day, be it along the towpath of the neighbouring Gloucester Ship Canal or at her beloved Stiffkey on the North Norfolk coast. She volunteered for numerous drug trials at The Royal Marsden Hospital taking the philosophical view that even if they didn’t always work for her they would ultimately help her fellow cancer sufferers. Whilst she fought to survive Kit developed her skills as a photographer focussing mainly on wildlife. She worked as an advocate for and supporter of several charities including ‘METUPUK’ (see the boards around the pitch perimeter), ‘Making Seconds Count’, Charlies (a Gloucester based charity offering therapeutic services to cancer patients), and the RNLI at Wells Next the Sea.

Kit was made an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in 2018 after being recognised for her outstanding contribution to national security at GCHQ by her colleagues, a well-deserved opportunity to honour the incredible work ethic and singular personality she displayed in both her personal and professional life whilst overcoming various earlier illnesses and fighting so bravely and with such determination her final incurable disease. She loved her job and continued to work full time until her final admission to hospital.

We share in the sorrow and offer our condolences at Kit’s passing with her family and friends at this difficult time. We have been in touch with the family to offer our support and look forward to welcoming them back to Hayden Road soon to celebrate Kit’s inspirational life.

AFC Rushden & Diamonds

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