It’s the time of year when we’re knee- deep in patron saints.
We have leeks and daffs on 1st March to honour St David of Wales, Guinness and shamrocks on 17th March to honour St Patrick of Ireland and on 23rd April flags will fly across England to celebrate St George, he of dragon-slaying fame.
I’m not overlooking St Andrew, but he falls a bit later in the year – in November.
In this part of the world we are lucky enough to have our very own local Saints – 52 of them, in fact, including the wonderful Dan Biggar (forgive me being partisan – I’m partly Welsh!)
Yes, we’re talking rugby here. Our local pros are the Northampton Saints who play in and play in black, green, and gold colours. They’re based at Franklin’s Gardens, Northampton, which has a capacity of 15,250.
They were formed in 1880 as Northampton St. James (which is how they got the Saints nickname) by the Rev Samuel Wathen Wigg, a local clergyman and curate of St. James Church who wanted to instil some order and discipline the high spirits of the young men locally.
Twenty years later, the first Saints player, local farmer Harry Weston, was awarded an England cap and in the early 20th century, Edgar Mobbs was the first Northampton player to captain his country but is best remembered for his bravery during the first world war.
After initially being turned down as too old to fight, Edgar raised his own “Sportsman’s” battalion otherwise known as Mobbs Own. He was killed in battle, leading his battalion over the top by kicking a rugby ball into no man’s land on 29 July 1917 while attacking a machine gun post.
In 1921 the club arranged the Mobbs Memorial Match as a tribute. It has been played almost every year since then.
The Saints are an outstanding club and regularly provide payers to the English national squad. Over the years, the Saints have won the English Premiership, the RFU Championship (three times), the Anglo-Welsh Cup, the EDF Energy Trophy, the European Rugby Champions Cup, and the European Rugby Challenge Cup (twice).
A trip to Franklin’s Gardens, home to the Northampton Saints is a mere 20 minute drive from the Butterfly Loft and well-worth the trip! Booking accommodation and enjoying great sport in and around Milton Keynes couldn’t be easier.
Just call us on 01908 266602 to check availability and make your reservation.