Edgar Mobbs was a rugby legend and a true hero of the Great War. The first Saint to captain England, at the outbreak of war Mobbs inspired hundreds of men to join the Army with him in what became known as the Sportsman’s Battalion in the Northamptonshire Regiment.
Mobbs’s leadership on the rugby field was mirrored in the trenches, with his rank rising from Private to Lieutenant-Colonel in just 18 months. But he would not survive the conflict, being killed in the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917 while attempting to storm a German machine gun nest.
After the war the Mobbs legend grew and the Mobbs Memorial Match quickly became one of the biggest dates in the Northampton calendar, with the town closing down and people flocking to Franklin’s Gardens to see some of the best players in the game represent either the Barbarians or the East Midlands.
Indeed, the Mobbs Memorial Match has been Northampton’s biggest charity sporting event since its inauguration in 1921, and is the only historic representative fixture to have survived into the professional era.
This year’s Match will see the Saints take on the British Army at Franklin’s Gardens on Wednesday, March 19th, with a 7:45pm kick off.
While the gates will be thrown wide open to all with no entry charge, the club’s management is hoping all those attending will make a donation which will help support the charitable aims of the Mobbs Memorial Trust.
As well as the Saints’ match against the British Army, the day will also include the East Midlands County XV playing the Army’s ‘A’ team on Pitch 1 and live music from the Band of the Royal Parachute Regiment. The British Army will also be bringing off-field activities suitable for all the family!
Saints chief executive Allan Robson says that he hopes as many supporters will come to enjoy some good rugby and a great occasion that is about more than just rugby, remembering the legacy of those who gave their lives in the service of their country.
“The people of Northampton come out in their thousands to Franklin’s Gardens, week after week,” he said, “and their support of the team for this Sunday’s LV= Cup final has been tremendous.
“To thank the Northampton public for their commitment we decided to make a gesture of goodwill and throw the gates open with no entry charge for next week’s Mobbs Memorial Match.
“The Match celebrates the legacy of one of the greatest players in the history of our club and a man who meant a great deal to the people of Northampton. It is something that we should all be proud of and I hope that as many people as possible will come to Franklin’s Gardens to support the occasion and enjoy some good rugby.
“Two years ago we had a tremendous encounter against the British Army which went down to the last kick of the game. Many of the players who represented us that night are now regulars in the first team, and next Wednesday could easily provide us with similar entertainment.
“Although there will be no compulsory entry charge we hope that people who do attend will make a contribution to donate on the gate. The Mobbs Memorial Match supports the aims of the Mobbs Memorial Trust, which does outstanding work within the East Midlands.”
All supporters who have already purchased their ticket will have their entry fee donated towards the Mobbs Memorial Trust.
For more information email [email protected]