Posted by: braddenvillage | June 14, 2013

Saints Rugby Club News – Leon Barwell loses battle with cancer

Leon Barwell loses battle with cancer

Article from Northampton Saints Website: 14 June 2013 11:16am (click here to go to website)
Northampton Saints today announced that former club chairman Leon Barwell has lost his long fight against cancer.
 Saints supporters who wish to leave messages of condolence for the Barwell family can do so by CLICKING HERE, or by writing to Northampton Saints, Franklin’s Gardens, Weedon Road, Northampton, NN5 5BG
Leon had been battling the disease for 18 months, but after a recent deterioration of his condition he passed away at 9:30 this morning (Friday, June 14th), aged just 46.

A life-long Saints supporter, Leon played an important role in the club’s continued growth and development in the professional era.

A member of the board of directors of Northampton Saints since 1999, Leon was a key figure in many of the club’s major projects over the past 14 years, including the development of Franklin’s Gardens and the initial share offering of Northampton Saints plc.Leon was also a successful businessman outside rugby. A founding director of Vision Security Group (VSG) in 2000, he took over as Saints chairman following the sale of VSG to Compass Group.

In more recent months Leon had been spearheading a programme of engagement between the club and supporters, which had included the re-introduction of the annual Open Day and the start of regular public meetings between the Saints’ senior management and Season Ticket Holders.

He stepped down as chairman in early June.

Acting chairman Tony Hewitt expressed his sadness at the news.

“Today is a very sad day for everyone associated with Northampton Saints,” he said. “Leon was a massive part of the recent successes we have enjoyed, both on and off the pitch, and it is tragic for both the club and the Barwell family that he has been taken away from us just as the next chapter of his life was beginning.

“He was wholeheartedly committed to the club in every way possible, something that was demonstrated clearly in his determination to present the chairman’s awards at our End of Season dinner only a few weeks ago and attend the Aviva Premiership Final.

“Going forward, it is vital that we continue Leon’s legacy and look to realise his ambitions for the team and the club as a whole.

“But in the immediate future I am sure that Saints supporters everywhere will join me in expressing heartfelt condolences to Keith, Maggie, Paula, Ella and the rest of the Barwell family. Our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.”

Chief executive Allan Robson said that Northampton Saints would not be the same.

“Leon was a very popular figure, both within Franklin’s Gardens and throughout Premiership Rugby,” he commented. “In a typical Barwell manner he was forthright with his views, but he never wanted anything more than for the Saints to succeed and club rugby to continue growing as a sport.

“Of course one of the things that both Keith and Leon strived for was a club that was sustainable for the long-term and not reliant on any one investor for its viability. We are in that position because of their principles and it is just a part of the legacy that we will look to continue.

“But this does not change the fact that everyone at the club is devastated by the news and Keith, Maggie, Paula, Ella and the rest of the Barwell family are at the forefront of our thoughts.”

Saints supporters who wish to leave messages of condolence for the Barwell family can do so by CLICKING HERE, or by writing to Northampton Saints, Franklin’s Gardens, Weedon Road, Northampton, NN5 5BG.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: