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In Memoriam: John Ebsworth

It is with great sadness that Northampton Saints announces the passing of former player John Ebsworth.

The winger passed away last week at the age of 80, after a long battle with cancer, having featured over 50 times in Black, Green and Gold after making his debut in 1961.

Previously representing Welsh Schools, Llanelly, St Luke’s, London Welsh and East Midlands, Ebsworth donned a Saints shirt throughout the sixties.

Ebsworth, who retired in 1968, famously came out of retirement in 1972 when Saints were playing Coventry at Franklin’s Gardens. When the side’s winger, Roger Morris, broke down on the M1 and his team struggled on with 14 during the first half. Ebsworth then went down to the dressing room at half-time and asked whether there was a spare pair of boots he could borrow. Ebsworth went on to play the entire second half, Saints running out 19-18 winners. 

The former committee man at Saints was also instrumental in setting up the first Saints Academy team in the late seventies and made a crucial impact on how the Club’s system works today.

The wing, who moved out to Spain in his later years, also helped to recruit a number of players into the squad, including Saints Hall-of-Famer Tim Rodber.

Ebsworth’s sons, Jonathan and Matthew, both played for Saints throughout the 80s; Matthew is currently the secretary of the Crooked Hooker.