100 Barbarians commemorated on Leicester Tigers memorial


Two of rugby's most famous clubs have joined forces to commemorate the players who laid down their lives in the two World Wars after the Leicester Tigers Foundation monument project announced they will recognise and honour the 100 Barbarians players who fell during the World Wars.

The memorial is to be built outside the main entrance at Welford Road stadium as a permanent place of remembrance to the players who lost their lives. It builds on links forged between Leicester and the Barbarians, who first played each other in 1909 and have met 94 times since.

The monument, designed by Harvey Gardiner FRSA and sculpted by the internationally-acclaimed Steven Winterburn, will feature two magnificent bronze tigers set on to an Art Deco Corten Steel base, standing 12 metres high to act as a gateway arch into the stadium. It is due to be unveiled in November 2018.

The names of the fallen players will appear on the monument, including the 100 Barbarians and the 46 Leicester Tigers who lost their lives in conflict, and it will also recognise the regiments, schools, clubs and universities for whom they played.

The 100 Barbarians include Edgar Mobbs, who represented Northampton, England and the Baa baas and who died at Passchendaele in July 1917. 

Tigers statue

Designer Harvey Gardiner (centre) with a model of the sculpture and Leicester Tigers officials Gary Sherrard, Chris Rose and Scott Clarke

Donald Cobden was capped by New Zealand, moved to England to join the RAF and went on to play for the Barbarians. A Spitfire pilot, he was killed in action in the Battle of Britain in August 1940.

Another pilot, Prince Alexander Obolensky, played seven times for the Barbarians after scoring two tries on his England debut against New Zealand in 1936. He was killed during training in Suffok in March 1940.

The Leicester Tigers Foundation monument project is an interactive one supported by an App and website with which you can discover more about these players, their achievements and their rugby careers, serving as an inspiration to future generations.

Anyone interested in supporting the memorial should visit www.leicestertigers.com/heritage and fans can also support the project by buying a Leicester Tigers Foundation Crown, a limited edition coin that commemorates the heritage project. 

Donors will also receive an invitation to the launch event for the monument and supporters' names will be etched into the base. Foundation Crowns cost from £110 from the website.