Kettering RFC chairman Lennie Newman is encouraging rugby players and supporters from across the East Midlands to flock to Franklin’s Gardens next Wednesday night to support local clubs.
A Northampton Saints XV takes on the British Army in the 2016 Mobbs Memorial Match, which honours the memory of a World War I hero, Edgar Mobbs. Mobbs is well known for what he achieved on the battlefield, but he was also a true rugby great and the first Saint to captain England, and the Mobbs Memorial Trust uses the funds raised from the Match to support youth and age group rugby across the region.
Kettering was one of 17 clubs to receive grants in 2016, and Newman says that they are “invaluable”.
“At Kettering we rely on bar sales and sponsorship to fund our growth, as do many other clubs,” he says. “The donations we’ve received from the Mobbs Memorial Trust would take us a great deal of time to raise in other ways, which makes them invaluable to us.
“We’ve used our donations to improve our clubhouse to make it a nicer place to be for our age group teams, but what is good about the Trust is that they don’t stipulate what the money is spent on, so it could be on kit, coach development, you name it.
“This is why having a successful Mobbs Memorial Match is so important, and I’m urging local players and rugby followers to get behind it next Wednesday night – after all we all benefit from it!”
Newman himself captained the East Midlands in the Mobbs Memorial Match against the Barbarians back in the 1980s, and while acknowledging the inevitable changes brought by professionalism he says that it is still an occasion to be enjoyed.
“The Match was traditionally one of the biggest games in the calendar and was great to be a part of,” he says. “It was something that we all looked forward to.
“We all know that the professional game and the leagues mean that there are different priorities, but the Mobbs Memorial Match is an important tradition that has been continued here in the East Midlands.
“Next Wednesday we’ll be seeing some talented young players run out in black, green and gold, and it will give them a great experience to be a part of history.”
Tickets for the 2016 Mobbs Memorial Match cost £10 for adults and £3 for juniors, concessions and Armed Forces personnel and veterans, and can be booked now at www.tinyurl.com/Mobbs2016.
CashBack is available for group bookings of 20 tickets or more; email [email protected] for more information.