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Mobbs Memorial Match returning to the Gardens

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

  

First played in 1921, the Mobbs Memorial Match honours Edgar Mobbs, a true legend of Saints and England rugby who was also a genuine hero of World War I.

Some of the most illustrious names in the history of English rugby have played in the Mobbs Memorial Match in either the colours of the East Midlands or the Barbarians, who played each other each year up until 2011.


Although the Barbarians had announced that the 2011 fixture would be their last, the Mobbs Memorial Match lives on with the British Army facing teams from Northampton and Bedford on alternate years.


This year it is the Saints' turn, and they will be playing a British Army team who last November won the International Defence World Championships in Australia.


Kick off is at 7:45pm with admission costing £3 (juniors and concessions) and £10 (adults) throughout the stadium.


There will be a curtain raiser between the Army's 'A' team and an East Midlands XV to whet the appetite, while the British Army will also be bringing along plenty of participatory activities for supporters to take part in throughout the afternoon and evening, including a paintball range and tanks for people to explore. Music will be provided by the Band of the Corps of Royal Engineers.


Advance tickets are on sale now and can be booked by CLICKING HERE and following the straightforward instructions.


"The Mobbs Memorial Match is one of rugby's most historic fixtures and it is important that it not be allowed to be forgotten," said Saints chief executive Allan Robson. "Edgar Mobbs is regarded as both a war hero and rugby legend and it is right that the Saints should be playing the British Army to ensure that the fixture continues in the future.


"It wasn't that long ago that the Mobbs Memorial Match was one of the highlights in the rugby calendar, with packed houses at the Gardens watching some great players. Hopefully supporters of the Saints and East Midlands rugby as a whole will get behind the match, enjoy all of the other entertainment that will be on offer, and help raise plenty of money for charity!"


The match will support the charitable aims of the Mobbs Memorial Fund.


ABOUT EDGAR MOBBS

Edgar Mobbs was the first Saint to captain England and also led the East Midlands, the Midlands, the South of England and the Barbarians, as well as his club for five seasons, something which was not matched until the mid-1990s.


His illustrious career included 234 appearances in the black, green and gold and seven England caps, but he is as much remembered for what he did on the field of battle as for his rugby exploits.


Having been refused a commission upon the outbreak of World War I on grounds of age, Mobbs formed his own special corps and just over a month after war had been declared 400 men had volunteered to join him. The 264 who were passed fit became known as the Sportsman's Battalion and formed a large part of the 7th Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment.


Mobbs himself was wounded three times in battle, and in the recuperation from the one injury played his final game of rugby in 1915. His return to his Battalion - by now as colonel - after his third injury coincided with the Battle of Passchendale, during which Mobbs became one of the 420,000 men to lose their lives.


He went down in folklore with the story that as he lay dying while trying to storm a German machine gun nest, Mobbs passed the map reference of the enemy to his runner to give to the Battalion Brigadier.


Mobbs' body was never found and there was no wife or child to mourn him. That did not stop a Mobbs Fund committee being formed, and the money they raised paid for a statue to honour him. Unveiled in front of thousands of Northamptonians in 1921, the statue now stands in the town's garden of rest.