Former Northampton Saints player, chairman, secretary and honorary life member Bob Leslie has passed away, aged 92.
Leslie made his Saints debut back in 1949 and went on to play 265 times placing him at 29th on the club’s all-time appearance list – one ahead of current Saintsman Courtney Lawes.
A centre who was capable of playing at fly-half and on the wing, Leslie often lit up Franklin’s Gardens with his eye-catching pacey breaks.
During his 18 years in Black, Green and Gold, Leslie managed 72 tries as well as kicking three penalties, two conversions and seven drop goals for a points haul of 250.
His rugby CV includes receiving an Oxford Blue, making England Schoolboys appearances as well as for the world-famous Barbarians. While working for a spell in Manchester, Leslie also turned out for Sale Sharks.
Upon the end of his playing days, Leslie’s ties with Northampton Saints did not diminish as he served as club secretary for a remarkable 17 years and a further three as chairman.
Former teammate, friend and golfing companion Bob Taylor said: “Bob was a very quick runner, give him half the chance he would make the outside break that you needed. He was good at that.
“Bob handled the ball very well, that was a big asset, and he made his tackles, which of course is so important in the game, anywhere, anytime, you can’t have someone who is a very good sprinter if he is going to let everyone run past him!
“He was the original complete gentleman. He was always smartly turned out, he was very respectful of people anywhere. He was good company and liked a good joke, could tell a good joke and was a good mimic. First and foremost, he was a gentleman.”
Leslie, who passed away on 18 September, is survived by his wife Jean and their three daughters Mandy, Alison and Rosalind.
The funeral will take place at Northampton Crematorium on Monday, 9 October at 1.15pm before moving on to The Cromwell Cottage, 1 High Street, Kislingbury, Northants, NN7 4AG.