A Northampton Saints fan from Kettering has joined his father and uncle in representing the Franklin’s Gardens side in a series of television adverts.
The ads, for Premiership sponsors Aviva, are the result of a nationwide search for the biggest rugby supporters.
Ben Muddle, 35, a firefighter, as well as father Colin and uncle Keith, were wearing Mexican outfits to a Premiership game in October when they were picked out of the crowd. They frequently don fancy dress to watch the Saints play.
“It’s been an experience, that’s for sure – it’s been great,” Ben said. “When I found out we had been selected I couldn’t wait to tell these guys. It’s absolutely brilliant, and not an opportunity you get every day of the week.”
Aviva visited every Premiership Rugby ground in recent weeks searching for the most passionate rugby fans, with supporters of every club set to appear in the new adverts. The Northampton Saints ads were seen for the first time wrapped around the Aviva Premiership Rugby highlights show on ITV and ITV4 on December 29, and will appear throughout the season.
Earlier this month a film crew took the Muddles back to Franklin’s Gardens where they showed off their Mexican and superhero costumes. The trio had their photos taken by a professional photographer, went under the makeup artist’s brush and were filmed on the pitch.
“The club matters to us because we’re a family, and it gives us a chance to be together every other week and give our support to our local team,” said Keith, 52, from Potton in Bedfordshire.
“The fancy dress started with Father Christmas, which was eye-catching, but we’ve also done Mexicans, superheroes and we’ve just got some bearded hats which are great because they keep your head and your chin warm and they’re in Northampton colours.
“We want people to see what we come as, join in and make it a great family event. I’d like to think the visiting fans are laughing with us - we’ve got a few surprises lined up as well so watch this space.”
“What we’re trying to do is really get to the heart of what matters to rugby fans from the 12 Aviva Premiership Rugby clubs,” said Louisa Cheetham, senior sponsorship manager at Aviva.
“And I think it’s absolutely testament to how wonderfully supportive the fans are. They are ultimately at the heart of everything we’re doing with rugby making it the great game that it is.”
To see a video of the story behind the making of the advert starring the Muddles, click here.