A Northampton Saints invitational XV will once again lock horns with the British Army in April 2020, as one of the most historic fixtures in rugby returns to Franklin’s Gardens.
First played in 1921, the Mobbs’ Own Match honours Edgar Mobbs – both a Saints legend and World Rugby Hall-of-Fame inductee, as well as a World War One hero.
Contested between the East Midlands and the Barbarians until 2011, Franklin’s Gardens has played host for the fixture every other year since 2012 when it was re-launched, with Bedford Blues also going toe-to-toe with the British Army on a biennial basis.
This year’s match will see a Saints invitational XV take on the Army on Wednesday 15 April 2020 (7.45pm kick-off), with tickets priced at £15 for adults or £5 for juniors, concessions, former players and past/present members of the British Armed Forces.
Proceeds from the match will once again support the charitable aims of the Mobbs Memorial Fund, which promotes the development of youth rugby in the East Midlands.
Saints were victorious the last time they took on the Army, winning 54-21 at Franklin’s Gardens in an entertaining skirmish.
The clash has often been a great opportunity for Saints’ younger prospects to pull on a Black, Green and Gold jersey – with the likes of Lewis Ludlam, James Grayson, and Ollie Sleightholme all getting on the scoresheet in years gone by.
Please note that this fixture is NOT included in the 2019/20 Season Ticket package.
Hospitality in the Michael Jones Champions Suite is also available for the Mobbs’ Own Match.
A two-course meal including a padded seat in the Barwell Stand can be purchased for £35pp. Please contact [email protected] to book now.
About Mobbs’ Own
An illustrious career at Franklin’s Gardens saw winger Edgar Mobbs (Saint #281) pull on the Black, Green and Gold jersey 234 times, captaining Northampton for five seasons and becoming the first Saint ever to skipper England in the process.
A plaque bearing his name still sits above the No.11 bench in Saints’ dressing room, and Mobbs was inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame in 2015.
But if anything, Mobbs is even more fondly remembered for what he did on the field of battle while serving in the Army – he led a call to arms to form what became known as the Mobbs’ Own Corps.
Led by Mobbs, 270 other men including many sportsmen from Northampton and the surrounding area, joined the fight in the First World War. Nearly 70 lost their lives during the war but many returned to the town, going on to have successful careers outside of the Army. Several went on to play for all three of the leading sports teams in the town.
This year Northampton Saints Foundation was successful in securing National Lottery Heritage Funding to further explore the history behind the Mobbs’ Own – 20 volunteers are attempting to uncover the untold stories of the company; recording their histories, exploring their backgrounds and researching their impact on their local community.
Like so many of the Mobbs’ Own, Edgar Mobbs himself did not survive the conflict. He was honoured by the unveiling of a statue in Northampton town centre in 1921 – a year which also saw the first Mobbs’ Own fixture played, and the match has been contested ever since.