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Northampton Sports

There is nothing quite like a sporting event to bring out the passionate side of Northampton people. Sport brings people together in a unique way. Whether it’s a pre or post-match drink, the songs we sing or the team colours we wear, we feel a collective sense of belonging, where lifelong friendships and bonds are made.

1880s- present

We are fortunate that Northampton is home to many sporting groups, from local amateur clubs to international professional teams. The three best known are Northampton Saints Rugby Club, Northampton Town Football Club and Northamptonshire County Cricket Club.

Northampton Saints Rugby Club is one of the oldest rugby union clubs in England. It was originally formed in 1880 by the Reverend of St James Church, Samuel Wathan Wigg, as an improvement class for ‘high spirited boys’.  They were named Northampton St James (Saints) Rugby Club.

Notable players include Edgar Mobbs, war hero and captain of the Saints and England, Ben Cohen, former player and celebrity and Dylan Hartley who previously captained the Saints and England. The current team play at Premiership level, England's top division of rugby.

Northampton Town Football Club was founded in 1897 by a group of local school teachers. The club is nicknamed the Cobblers referencing Northampton’s shoemaking heritage.

The club has had varied success throughout their history, particularly in the 1960s when they were promoted from the fourth to the first division in 1965. That was the only season the Cobblers played in the top division and eventually they were relegated back to the fourth, now known as League Two, where they remain today.

Notable players include Walter Tull, one of the first Black officers in the First World War and Des O’Connor who played for the club during the late 1940s.

Northamptonshire County Cricket Club was founded in 1878 and by 1905 had joined the County Championship. Since then, the team have played in every first-level domestic cricket competition in England. Achievements include becoming Champions of the County Championship Division Two in 2000 and winning the NatWest T20 Blast Cups in 2013 and 2016.

The club is named after the Northamptonshire Regiment, whose nickname the ‘Steelbacks’, reflected the soldiers’ tolerance to the beatings inflicted by their officers. There is also a women’s team nicknamed the ‘Steelettos’ who were successfully undefeated in every game of the 2019 Division 3B of England and Wales Cricket Board County Championships.

Quote from Steph Luson about the thrill of watching a Saints game at Franklin Gardens, Northampton



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