It is with great sadness that Northampton Saints announces the passing of former player, director and Club President, Jon Raphael.
The former Saints and England hooker passed away earlier this week aged 66, having featured over 150 times for Saints after making his Club debut back in 1971.
One of the defining figures in the history of Northampton Saints, Jon was a part of the famous ‘Gang of Seven’ consortium in 1988 that was instrumental in restructuring the Club, setting Northampton on course for the top end of English club rugby.
As a player the hooker was club captain in 1983/84 and played 159 times for Saints' first team. He represented England between 1975 and 1981, where he was part of two overseas tours and represented the Barbarians before injury brought a premature end to his career in 1984.
Jon had the honour of serving as Saints president for a two-year spell, and is among only a handful of people to be made a life member of the club.
“Without men like Jon it is conceivable that Saints would not be where it is today,” said former Saints Chairman Tony Hewitt.
“As part of the ‘Gang of Seven’, he played a huge role in making Saints the rugby club that it is now and we’re deeply saddened to hear of his passing.”
Saints Chairman John White commented, “Jon will be sorely missed, not only by everyone at Northampton Saints but also around all our opposition clubs where he was a well-known, respected and popular Saintsman.”
Long-time friend and former Saints Chairman Keith Barwell added, “Jon was not only a fantastic and loyal player on the pitch, but a hugely respected member of the board. We shall all miss him greatly; our thoughts and prayers are with Kathy and his family.”
The funeral service for Jon Raphael will be held at All Saints Church, George Row, Northampton NN1 1DF at 3pm on Wednesday 17th April.
Kathy, Meaghan, Paige and grand children, Fynn, Mimi, Felix, Oakley, Maggie and Rousso would like to thank everyone for their love and support and for sharing the wonderful memories they have of Jon. The family requests that flowers be restricted to relatives only but encourages donations in Jon’s name, with these being split between Youth Sport Trust and RFU Injured Player Foundation.