Former Northampton mayor who dedicated life to town and local rugby clubs dies aged 97

A former mayor of Northampton who dedicated his life to supporting rugby and "making the town better" has died.

Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 12:27 pm
Former Mayor of Northampton Ron Liddington has died, aged 97.

Ron Liddington died at Northampton General Hospital last Tuesday (January 14). He was 97.

He served as the 748th mayor of Northampton in 1988 as part of his career as a politician and businessman, during which he ran for four terms as a borough councillor.

The Second World War veteran and businessman, who operated the Northampton leather firm A J Letts for nearly 30 years, was also a lifelong rugby fan who served for decades on the committee board for the Saints and was honoured as the life vice -chairman of the Boys' Brigade Old Boys Rugby Club (BBOB RFC).

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The lifelong rugby fan was committed to supporting Northamptonshire's local clubs and was a committee member for the Saints.

A tribute posted on the BBOB website last week read: "It is with a sad heart that i have received news of the passing of Ron Liddington, one of Northampton BBOB rugby club's great supporters.

"Ron never failed to be in attendance whenever we travelled down to Northampton on tour and came to Hartlepool on tour with the lads.

"A great man and gentleman [who] will be missed by the Hartlepool BBOB lads who had the pleasure to meet him and enjoy his company."

Ron Liddington was born in Silverstone on July 24, 1922.

Ron, pictured with his wife of 49 years, Marianne.

As a young man his greatest passion was playing rugby and even played for Newport RFC - but sadly, his days on the field were cut short by an injury in his military service.

While serving the Royal Pioneers Corps in the Second World War, Ron's leg was severely damaged during the infamous Battle of Monte Cassino in Italy.

He was later treated to receive an early design for what would become the modern prosthetic leg - but it meant he was unable to play rugby ever again.

Instead, Ron then dedicated his life to supporting rugby and local clubs in Northamptonshire.

Ron pictured with his official mayor's portrait at his 90th birthday.

After leaving the REME in 1946, he joined and later took on ownership of shoe and leather firm A J Letts.

He met his wife Marianne in 1948 and married her a year later. The couple moved to Abington in 1952 and had a daughter together, and later moved to Kingsthorpe where they lived for the rest of their lives.

Ron was also a lifelong Conservative and was also honoured as an Alderman of the borough council.

Ron with his daughter, Janet.