Northampton Saints can today confirm that Club stalwart Geoff Allen will retire from his duties as stadium announcer at the end of this season.
Modern-day visitors to Northampton will only know Allen as the matchday voice of Franklin’s Gardens, having illuminated the action on the field through the PA system for 37 years.
“All good things must come to an end and I’m looking forward to spending some more time with my family.”Geoff Allen
But after also serving as President, Chairman, CEO and Team Secretary – as well as appearing 136 times for Northampton in a ten-year playing career – Allen was deservedly inducted into the Saints Hall of Fame last year and will be profoundly missed around the Club.
His final match will be Saints’ final home clash of the season, with Chris Boyd’s side hosting Worcester Warriors at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday 4 May, and Allen is hoping Northampton can send him out on a high note.
“I’ve loved every minute of my journey with Saints and it is with heavy heart that I’ll be hanging up the microphone for the final time next month,” he said.
“But all good things must come to an end and I’m looking forward to spending some more time with my family – although that won’t stop me from getting along to as many matches as possible!
“I want to thank all the supporters at Franklin’s Gardens for their encouragement over the years; they create the best atmosphere in English rugby and I look forward to sharing a drink or two with many of them after the Worcester match.”
Allen made his Saints debut against Moseley in 1963; the first of 136 appearances in Black, Green and Gold until his career was curtailed by a knee injury.
“We wish Geoff all the best for what is hopefully a long, happy and healthy retirement. He deserves huge congratulations for everything he has done here.”Mark Darbon, chief executive
But even now, more than 45 years after hanging up his boots, he remains a beloved figure at Franklin’s Gardens courtesy of his contribution to the Club upon his retirement.
Over a period of some 26 years, Allen fulfilled the roles of Team Secretary, Club Secretary, President, Chairman and Chief Executive – not including his role as matchday announcer which he has continued up to the present day.
Northampton’s chief executive Mark Darbon added: “There are not many people in the 139-year history of this Club who have had a bigger impact on the team and supporters than Geoff.
“He truly is a luminary here at Franklin’s Gardens; he’s done an amazing job and I know just how much everyone will miss him on matchdays in the years to come.
“But Geoff has earned some time with his family and we wish him all the best for what is hopefully a long, happy and healthy retirement. He deserves huge congratulations for everything he has done here.”