Northampton Saints today announced that Paul Diggin is retiring from top flight rugby at the end of the current season.
Diggin has become a cult hero on the terraces at Franklin’s Gardens for his wholehearted commitment to the cause of his home-town club.
The 29-year-old came up through the town’s BBOB club before joining the Saints Academy system in his teens. The first of his 148 first team appearances came in the home Premiership win over Sale Sharks in February 2004, and he played in the 2011 Heineken Cup final, two LV= Cup finals, Amlin Challenge Cup final and National Trophy final.
Diggin’s strike rate throughout his career in black, green and gold was also impressive, the winger crossing the whitewash 62 times in all. He is the only Saint to score four tries in one individual Heineken Cup match – against Edinburgh at home in January 2011 – which helped him become the top try scorer in that year’s competition.
At the start of this season Diggin joined the club’s Academy coaching staff, helping bring through the next generation of Saints. His testimonial year has also seen him play against the British Army in the Mobbs Memorial Match, help the Wanderers to the Aviva ‘A’ League final and play for Cambridge.
But it is in coaching where Diggin says that he sees his future, which is why he is hanging up his boots.
“I could not have asked for more from my playing career,