Oundle girls tackle rugby match head on…..
26th April 2016

For eight years now, girls from Oundle School’s Sixth Form have joined together to play a game of rugby in memory of former pupil, Thommy Purbrook.

Thommy’s career at Oundle was tragically cut short when she died from meningitis whilst on a School trip to St Petersburg in December 2008. Thommy’s time at Oundle was marked by her enthusiasm, energy and determination and one of her many talents was rugby – she was Captain of the Girls’ Rugby team.

The money raised this year will go to Meningitis Now, a charity dedicated to helping those affected with Meningitis providing vital support into the research for its treatment. This year’s match took place on Sunday 20th March and so far has already raised £4100.

For this year’s match, the 1st Xv Captain, Honor Murison (18) and Vice- Captain Catie Gilchrist (17), each organised a team with Honor captaining a team from Sanderson and Kirkeby Houses and Catie captaining a team from Dryden, Laxton, Wyatt and New Houses.


The end result of the match was a 21-17 win to Catie’s team who proudly received The Thommy Purbrook Plate from Mr and Mrs Purbrook. 

Honor and Catie commented: “The amount of training and dedication the girls playing had put into this match was clear to see as all fought fiercely and fairly with only a narrow win for the Dryden, Wyatt, New House and Laxton girls. It was brilliant day for both players and spectators with the total amount raised being close to £4,000. It was brilliant to see so many people getting involved in memory of Thommy Purbrook and showing that her legacy still lives on within Oundle. The enthusiasm with which this match was played suggests that it will be a tradition that carries on for years to come. We would like to thank the staff and 1st XV boys who took on the task of coaching and training the two teams and made the preparation so enjoyable. Thank you, also to the commentators and all the spectators, who in such great numbers created an incredible atmosphere for the match.”


Rugby coach, Ian Clark commented, “The match was a tribute to the commitment of the girls, with some huge tackles and dogged defence. Both sides performed admirably, and thanks to the organisers and competitors for carrying on this important tradition.” 

Thommy’s father, Clive Purbrook, commented, “As ever, a wonderful day both on and off the pitch.  Belinda, Barney and myself are all very touched that the match played by the girls in Thommy's memory has become so firmly entrenched in the School’s calendar, and is approached by the girls and everybody else who plays a part with such a fantastic spirit.  The quality of the rugby on display was also a testament to the girls' talents.” 

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