Edgar Mobbs’ World Rugby Hall of Fame cap is being loaned by the Mobbs family to Northampton Saints to be displayed at Franklin’s Gardens.
Mobbs was inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame in September 2015 ahead of last autumn’s Rugby World Cup along with 24 other legendary names from the history of the sport.
Mobbs’ name is synonymous with that of Northampton Saints. The first player from the club to captain England, he ran out 234 times for the first team and represented the Midlands, too.
But he is just as famous for his achievements after he finished playing. Upon the outbreak of World War I, undeterred by the denial of an officer commission, he formed what became known as the ‘Sportsman’s Battalion’ which largely made up the 7th Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment.
Killed in the Third Battle of Ypres, Mobbs’ body was never found, but his story lives on in the annual Mobbs Memorial Match, the proceeds of which support the charitable aims of the Mobbs Memorial Trust.
The World Rugby Hall of Fame was established in 2006 with the initial induction of William Webb Ellis and Rugby School. Since then some of the greatest people in the history of the sport have been inducted, with Mobbs joining the likes of Danie Craven, Francois Pienaar (both South Africa), Carwyn James, Phil Bennett (both Wales), Willie John McBride, Syd Millar (both Ireland), Gavin Hastings, Sir Ian McGeechan (both Scotland), Sean Fitzpatrick, Sir Colin Meads (both New Zealand), Mark Ella, David Campese (both Australia) and a host of others from across the globe.
“As a family we were very honoured to receive the recognition for Edgar from World Rugby,” said Mobbs’ great-nephew, also named Edgar. “We thought that it would be wonderful if the cap could be displayed at Franklin’s Gardens as he is the only Saints player to have received this award, and while the stadium may have changed this is still the place where he played so many times.”
“It is a privilege that the Mobbs family have asked us to display Edgar’s World Rugby Hall of Fame cap at Franklin’s Gardens,” said Saints chief executive Allan Robson. “Being recognised by World Rugby in this way is a rare accolade and we will be delighted and proud to both receive and then display the cap at the stadium, especially because Edgar is a true Saintsman whose name and legacy is as strong now as it ever has been.”
The cap will be handed over at the 2016 Mobbs Memorial Match on Wednesday, April 16th, before a Northampton Saints XV takes on the British Army.
Proceeds from the Match will go to the Mobbs Memorial Trust, which supports the development of youth and age group rugby in the East Midlands. Tickets remain available for £10 (adults) and £3 (juniors, concessions and Armed Forces personnel and veterans) at www.tinyurl.com/Mobbs2016.