Northamptonshire CCC chairman Gavin Warren has joined in with Northampton Town FC’s 125th birthday celebrations.
He was present alongside his Cobblers counterpart Kelvin Thomas at the unveiling of a plaque at the football club’s ‘birthplace’ – the Jeckyll & Hyde pub on Wellingborough Road in Northampton, formerly the Princess Royal – where, on March 9, 1897, a meeting of local school teachers with Northampton solicitor AJ ‘Pat’ Darnell agreed to form a new team.
“This historic moment is so special for Northampton, where we are lucky to have professional cricket, football and rugby clubs,” Warren commented.
“The relationship between us and the Cobblers goes back many decades, and I was pleased to support Kelvin, his directors and staff on such a memorable occasion.
“Everyone at our club wishes them good luck for the rest of the season – and hopefully promotion into League One.”
Darnell, one of the most significant figures in the county’s sporting history, was also Honorary Secretary of NCCC for 24 years – and it was largely down to him that the new NTFC made its home at the County Ground, which it shared with the cricket club until 1994.
Many individuals have played for both teams, including Northamptonshire and England all-rounder George Thompson who turned out in a few of the Cobblers’ early matches in 1897.
In December 1929, following a fire in the football stand, the cricket dressing rooms were used by both teams when Northampton Town tackled Newport County – and when its replacement was demolished in 1985 journalists covering the Cobblers had to use the cricket press box, with the aid of powerful binoculars!
NTFC played their final match at the County Ground in October 1994 before moving to their current home at Sixfields.