When the Diamonds faced Rugby Town last month, Club Captain Richard Bunting became the seventh Diamonds player to reach a notable landmark in both his career and in the history of AFC Rushden & Diamonds making 100 appearances for the club. Both he and manager Andy Peaks were able to reflect on this achievement during the post-game interviews after Saturday’s game at Shaw Lane – a game in which Richard scored a vital equaliser and was Man of the Match. You can see those interviews here.
Richard follows in the footsteps of Sam Brown, the first Diamonds player to achieve this feat, Matt Gearing, Brad Harris, Matt Finlay, Tom Lorraine and Liam Dolman. He made his Diamonds debut in a dramatic FA Vase game at AFC Wulfrunians in November 2013, going on to lift the UCL Premier and UCL League Cup trophies as Diamonds Club Captain in the 2014-15 season.
Now aged 35, he joined the Diamonds midfield from Kings Lynn Town, where he had captained the Linnets to the Northern Premier League Division One South title in the 2012-13 season. In the previous season he was captain for Long Buckby when they won the United Counties Premier League title. He played for Cogenhoe United, Raunds Town and Brackley earlier in his career.
He also picked up the Goal of the Season award for the Diamonds in 2013/14 with a dramatic late goal at Newport Pagnell, and has since specialised in scoring goals in important games or at important times – his goal that settled a dour game at Uxbridge in the last minute being one of them. A number of injuries (and the odd suspension) have meant he has take a bit longer to reach his century than some of his teammates, but judging by his goal celebrations at the recent game at Shaw Lane he is still as enthusiastic as ever.
Richard was presented with a memento to recognise this achievement before the Boxing Day game against Stamford AFC. The award was kindly sponsored by P.W. House Jewellers of Rushden.
You can see Richard’s player profile with details of these games here.
(Pictures courtesy of Malcolm Swinden Photography Copyright Mal Swinden ©2013-16)