Northampton Saints plc has today announced that two of the club’s directors - Dr Jon Raphael and Murray Holmes - are stepping down at the end of August.
Dr Jon Raphael and Murray Holmes were both former Saints presidents for a two-year spell, and are among a handful of people to be made life members of the club.
A former senior partner at DFA Law, Mr Holmes has been a respected member of the Northampton business community for many years and played an important role on the club’s committee and then subsequently the board of directors.
As a player, Raphael was club captain in 1983/84 and played 159 times for the Saints first team.
He sat on the bench for England between 1975 and 1981, went on two overseas tours and represented the Barbarians before injury brought a premature end to his career in 1984.
A GP, he is currently part-way through a tribunal hearing where it has been alleged that he touched a 16-year-old girl inappropriately at The Mounts surgery in 2014 and made comments about her breasts.
Dr Raphael is suspended from practising until at least the end of the tribunal, which will resume in October.
In a statement released by the club, Saints chairman Tony Hewitt paid tribute to both men’s dedication to making the club what it is today.
He said; “Without men like Jon and Murray it is conceivable that the Saints would not be where it is today,” he said.
“As part of the Gang of Seven they turned the Saints around and set us on the path to being one of the most innovative clubs in the country.
“They had the vision to appoint the first professional rugby administrator anywhere in English club rugby, and the willingness to welcome the investment and input of Keith Barwell, buying into his belief that a club can be both financially self-sustaining and successful on the pitch.
“We can look at the likes of the teams we were playing in the league back in 1988, clubs such as Rosslyn Park, Liverpool St Helens and Headingley, and imagine that without Jon, Murray, and the rest of the consortium we could have followed them into the lower reaches of the sport, far from where we are now.
“They have earned our thanks and best wishes for the future.”