NSB chair of governors and ONs stalwart so ‘proud for Northampton’ after being awarded MBE
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Pete Bason started out as a bright-eyed pupil at the historic school back in 1967 and now chairs its board of governors.
He has also been a major part of Old Northamptonians as player, coach and fund-raiser for more than 40 years.
Pete admits news of his award for services to education and sport in Northampton the Queen's Birthday Honours list came as a surprise, but insisted: “I’m so proud of my town because I was born and raised in Northampton and I've worked with some fantastic people at the ONs and the school.
“It sounds a bit corny but it's great to have this for the town, I’m just so proud for Northampton and for those people that do so much working at schools as governors and for sports clubs behind the scenes.
“Everything I've been involved with the school and ONs has been a team effort, not just down to one individual.
"I am highly honoured to be awarded this MBE — but humbled by the time and effort that so many colleagues at the ONs and NSB have spent nominating me.”
Pete’s involvement in the Old Grammar School Foundation and links with Cripps Foundation helped secure additional funding to create exceptional facilities at NSB including a theatre, swimming pool, sports hall, dining facility and extra classrooms.
In his role as school governor, he helped oversee growth and restructuring that helped NSB become state sport school of the year three times.
He admitted: “The school is still my big passion.
“The big culture at NSB is our extra-curricular programme which is strong across sport, music and drama. Obviously, rugby plays a big part of the life of the school and I've seen a lot of boys go on to play for Northampton Saints — such as Courtney Lawes, Ollie Sleightholme, James Grayson and Tom Collins."
Even his profession as a dental surgeon, now retired, brought a connection with sport.
He said: “I was honorary Cobblers dentist for quite a few years, and the Saints’ as well. As a local boy it gave me a lot of pleasure to be able to do that.”
Pete helped to establish mini and junior sides and then swapped coaching for fundraising — including playing a major role in raising £250,000 to fund a new boiler, viewing platform and two new changing rooms at Billing Road.
He said: “I've been involved in some of the fundraising efforts across all the sections. But that has been a team effort, not just down to one individual.
"I still do work for the association, organising some dinners for former players to raise money and bring old players back to keep that connection going.
"The mini and junior section I helped set up in the 1980s has obviously blossomed and now has over 400 members.
"I also coached the colts team for a few years and quite a few of those guys are now heavily involved in coaching the mini and junior sections, and that gives me a lot of pleasure to see that.”