Saints pay tribute to teen fan
Aviva Premiership champions Northampton have paid tribute to 13-year-old Luis Ghaut, who passed away this week after suffering from a rare form of bone cancer.
Luis, who lived locally and had played full-back in junior teams at Northampton Old Scouts Rugby Club, was one of Saints' mascots for the Premiership final at Twickenham last season when Northampton beat Saracens to land their first league title.
In a statement, Saints said: "Everyone at Northampton Saints - players, staff, management and directors - was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Luis Ghaut, a young Saints supporter who has touched the lives of many people at Franklin's Gardens.
"Luis became a familiar face in unfortunate circumstances, after his family approached us to help support their fundraising and awareness activities about osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer that he was suffering from.
"It quickly became apparent that Luis was a special boy, and as well as regularly attending training he and his family became good friends with a number of players in the squad, who would make personal visits to Luis' home or when he was in hospital.
"The impact that Luis' battle against Osteosarcoma had on the squad was reflected in Tom Wood's comments after the Premiership final, when he cited the strength that the youngster was showing and how it motivated the team, something which was echoed by a number of other players, notably Alex Corbisiero.
"Players and management alike were therefore delighted when Luis was able to run out as one of the team's mascots at Twickenham in May, sharing in one of the greatest days in the club's history by both joining us on the pitch after the game and on the open top bus parade the following day.
"This was all the more remarkable considering that he had undergone major surgery less than two weeks before the game, and underwent a course of chemotherapy a few days later, and summed up Luis' determination to make the most out of every moment.
"We extend our deepest regrets and condolences to Luis' family and friends at this very sad time."
England flanker Wood, meanwhile, said on Twitter: "Luis, I will miss but never forget you my friend."
And Wood's Saints and England colleague Lee Dickson tweeted: "My thoughts and prayers are with Luis and his family. Bravest young man that I have ever met. He was part of the Saints family."