Tributes pour in for Saints legend Frank Packman

Fans, former players and local clubs have led the tributes after it was announced that Saints legend Frank Packman had passed away on Tuesday.

Thursday, 1st April 2021, 11:59 am
Updated Thursday, 1st April 2021, 12:00 pm
Frank Packman
Frank Packman

The 57-year-old died while out cycling with two of his sons in Bedfordshire and the news was announced by Saints on Wednesday evening.

Packman made his Northampton debut in 1983 and went on to score 178 tries in 323 appearances for the club, putting him fifth in the all-time try-scoring records.

Packman also made a huge impact on the local rugby scene, coaching at clubs such as Towcestrians and Wellingborough.

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He served for 15 years as a police officer at Northamptonshire Police and was a dedicated and loving father.

Packman was a director of an international healthcare logistics company, based in Northampton, where he also lived.

And since news of his passing emerged, the rugby world has been paying tribute to the popular player and man.

Former Saints players

Ben Cohen: "This really sad news to hear. Frank was a Saints legend. RIP Frank."

Martin Bayfield: "This is such awful news. A Saints legend and teammate. Love and deepest sympathies to Frank’s family."

Steve Thompson: "Really sad to hear this. RIP Frank!"

Jon Sleightholme: "This is awful news, thoughts and prayers with his whole family but especially feeling for his boys today. So very very sad #RIPFrank."

Jon Phillips: "So sad and unfair RIP Frank."

Terry Burwell: "This is dreadful news, had the pleasure of playing with Frank for @SaintsRugby and @EastMidsRugby he was a great rugby player but above all a truly special human being, immensely proud of his sons, a huge loss to his family and the rugby family RIP."

Peter Walton: "Such sad news a great player to play with and a friend off the pitch. Very proud of his family. R I P Frank. #legend."

Local clubs

Towcestrians (written by Zac Osborne): "We are absolutely devastated to hear of Frank Packman’s sudden passing yesterday

"Frank was a Towcester boy through and through, attending Sponne and winning the Oceanic Cup and Lewis shield with the club before being picked up by the Saints.

"Frank scored 178 times in his 323 appearances, putting him fifth in Northampton’s all-time try-scoring records.

"Frank returned to Towcester, as a coach, once his playing days were almost done, often putting himself on when we needed a kick up the arse.

"A passionate man and well respected at the club, many young lads given their first opportunity under his guidance.

"Any time he was at the club he gave us everything he had and he will be sorely, sorely missed.

"We are sending our deepest condolences and love to his wife, Rachel, and his children, Charlie, Tom, George, Howard and Susie."

Wellingborough RFC on Twitter: "It is with great sadness we have to inform our rugby family of the passing of Frank Packman on Tuesday 30th, our condolences go to his family in these sad times.

"Frank came to play at our club with fantastic rugby ability, superb coaching skills and formed so many friendships."

The supporters

Joe O'Donoghue: "Grew up watching Frank play. Such sad news."

Andrew Langley: "That is truly dreadful news. Many happy days watching him play when I was a kid. My heartfelt commiserations to his family & friends. One of the true legends of the Saints & a superb finisher who many believed should have played for England. A very sad day for the club. RIP Frank."

Richard Turvey: "That’s is sad news. As a sports loving boy growing up in Northamptonshire, I recall regularly seeing his name among @SaintsRugby try scorers, and being him impressed by his achievements. #rip."

Sam Gartside: "This is devastating news, Sending all of our love to his family, he was so proud of all of his children as I am sure they are of him xxx"

Jamie Garner: "I’m so gutted to read this. I got to know Frank and his wife Rachel at the gym. Both lovely people. My thoughts are with the entire family."

Simon Hendy: "Oh goodness, that's sad news. And of course he was part of the team that went to the 1991 Pilkington Cup Final, very nearly 30 years ago."

Richard Franks: "Keep scoring those tries Frank, softer landings in heaven."

Michael Dods: "Gutted, what a player and genuine great guy, condolences to all the family."

Chris Hood: "Another one taken too soon. My thoughts are with his family."