It is with great sadness that Northampton Saints announced the passing of former player Peter “Duff” Duffy.
The tighthead prop passed away at the age of 76 following complications during a routine hip operation last month, having featured some 200 times in Black, Green and Gold after making his debut in 1966.
With his father in the army, Duff was born in Berlin and spent his early years travelling between Germany and Catterick following the end of World War Two before settling with his parents in Duston.
The prop began his sporting career in football, but his “tough, physical style of play” quickly earned him a spot in the rugby team – where “his skills” were far more suited, though his family doubt whether his playing style would be approved of by referees today.
Duff joined Northampton Casuals in his early years, where he was shaped into a tenacious tighthead prop, before attending trials at Franklin’s Gardens and linking up with Saints.
Playing for Northampton between 1966 and 1973, Duff also represented East Midlands, the Midlands and Barbarians RFC before moving to Zambia in 1975.
There Duff’s passion for rugby continued with the prop playing at Roan Antelope RFC in Luashya, where he helped the side to lift three Zambian Championships as well as turning out for Zambia for the Lechwe team in 1976.
Duff would return to Northampton in 1984 where he joined Northampton Mens Own RFC as a player coach where he chose to draw his rugby career to a close.
After that Duff became a publican, running The Plough in Shutlanger with his wife Toni and later The Crown in Ashton with his daughter Lisa, before the former prop split his time between the Philippines and England in his latter years.
Duff leaves behind brother Mick, children Jason, Lisa and Ryan as well as ten grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Peter’s family would like to invite any of Duff’s friends to his funeral next week, which will be held at Counties Crematorium, Towcester Road, Milton Malsor, Northampton, NN4 9RN on Tuesday 12th November at 2.45pm.
The family has requested that flowers are limited to family only but has suggested that any donations in Duff’s name be made to the RFU injured Players Foundation.