Northampton - Sport

Sport

The town is home to Premiership rugby union club Northampton Saints, who play at Franklin's Gardens in the St James area. "The Saints" had their greatest moment when they won the Heineken Cup in 2000 at Twickenham, beating Munster 9–8. There are also a number of "Junior" rugby clubs in the area, the most successful of these at producing young players is Northampton Old Scouts RFC who have produced Ben Cohen and Steve Thompson amongst others.

League Two football club Northampton Town, known as "The Cobblers" from the town's shoemaking background, are based at Sixfields Stadium. Established in 1897, in their centenary season of 1997 they reached Wembley through the play-offs and beat Swansea City 1–0 with an injury time winning free kick from John Frain. In 2010, they were drawn against premiership team Liverpool in the 2010-11 Football League Cup 3rd round/last 32. They were drawing 2–2 after full-time but won 2–4 on penalties. But they lost out against Ipswich Town 3-1 in the 4th round/last 16. It was the first club to set up a trust for supporters to work with the club as many have done. There is an athletics track adjacent to the ground. There are also three non-league clubs in the United Counties Football League: Northampton Spencer; Northampton Sileby Rangers; and Northampton Old Northamptonian Chenecks.

Northampton Town will also run a professional rugby league team from 2013 to compete in the Championship One and will be based at Sixfields Stadium. The new club, to be called Northampton Rebels, will link with local club Northampton Demons in an effort to further promote rugby league in the area.

Northamptonshire County Cricket Club, known in limited overs cricket as "The Steelbacks", play at the County Ground, in the Abington area.

Nene Whitewater Centre provides an artificial whitewater course for canoes, kayaks and rafts.

Northampton Swimming Club trained the young Olympic swimmer Caitlin McClatchey.

Collingtree Golf Club hosted the British Masters in 1995.

Northampton International Raceway near Brafield is a leading venue for stock-car racing and hosts the European Championships every July. Speedway racing has been staged at Brafield in the 1950s and again in the 1960s. In the 1950s the team was known as the Flying Foxes and in the 1960s they were known as the Badgers.

Speedway was also staged at the greyhound stadium in Northampton in the pioneer days of the late 1920s.

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Famous quotes containing the word sport:

    Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence: in other words it is war minus the shooting.

    George Orwell (1903–1950)

    If a walker is indeed an individualist there is nowhere he can’t go at dawn and not many places he can’t go at noon. But just as it demeans life to live alongside a great river you can no longer swim in or drink from, to be crowded into safer areas and hours takes much of the gloss off walking—one sport you shouldn’t have to reserve a time and a court for.
    Edward Hoagland (b. 1932)

    Americans living in Latin American countries are often more snobbish than the Latins themselves. The typical American has quite a bit of money by Latin American standards, and he rarely sees a countryman who doesn’t. An American businessman who would think nothing of being seen in a sport shirt on the streets of his home town will be shocked and offended at a suggestion that he appear in Rio de Janeiro, for instance, in anything but a coat and tie.
    Hunter S. Thompson (b. 1939)