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Tigers ABC to Z: F is for fans and family

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The latest in our Tigers ABC to Z series focuses on the letter F.F is for family From the Lawrie brothers to the Deacon brothers, family links have played a prominent role in the Leicester Tigers culture. It is a feature of the club’s make-up that there are family ties within it, at all levels, on and off the field.   The Tuilagi family have had six brothers – Freddie, Henry, Alesana, Anitele’a, Vavae and Manu – in the first team plus Freddie’s sons Brian and Freddie have played for the Academy.   Four brothers from the Beamish family – Charles, Cecil, Victor and George – played for Tigers and there are five sets of three brothers to play for the club.   Ben and Tom Youngs were the 64th pair of brothers to play for the Tigers first team – Jack and Joe Cobden are the 65th and most recent brothers.   The Youngs are one of six pairs of brothers to follow in their father’s footsteps by playing for Leicester, in their case the former England scrum-half Nick Youngs. Harry and Charlie Thacker are the most recent after their dad Troy played 47 times for the club.   Tom Berry was followed into the Leicester team by his three sons, David, John and Richard, while there have been 16 occurrences of a father and son appearing for the first team.   All are documented in the new Leicester Tigers History Book, which is available by clicking here.   Ian ‘Dosser’ Smith, the former club captain and coach who now plays a key coaching role in the Tigers Rugby Camps, and centre Matt, became the first father-and-son combination to reach 100 starts for the club in February 2013. Nick and Ben Youngs have since become the second father-and-son combination to reach 100 starts.   F is for fans Richard Cockerill, the club’s director of rugby, has often said that alongside the players, that Leicester Tigers and the club’s culture is down to the fans.   From queuing first thing in the morning on a matchday to secure their place on the Terrace to painting away venues across the Aviva Premiership and beyond red, white and green, the passion and commitment of Tigers fans is second to none.   The noise created by supporters at Welford Road is known the world over, and has played a huge role in the success of the team at home.   A record 15,300 season ticket holders signed up to home games at Welford Road last season shared in moments such as the European wins over Toulon and Ulster Rugby and the league and cup wins over local rivals Northampton.   F is for Fearless Hiss and the Boo Band Supporters from the late 1970s and early 1980s may remember trad jazz band Fearless Hiss and the Boo Band performing at Welford Road.   Among their number was Bob Beason, who made 203 appearances for the Tigers between 1960 and 1972.   Beason recalls that the band was made up of supporters and would play at Welford Road and, on occasion, on the road.   “We took the whole band down to Twickenham for the 1981 John Player Cup Final,” he says. “There was a whole load of us with instruments, we got into the stadium and played the whole game from the terrace.   “There’s a video of Steve Kenney’s try and you can hear the bass drum in the background.” Click here to see a photo of the band in action at Twickenham F is for First World War A total of 19 Leicester Tigers players died on active service during the First World War:   Major B McCraith (Royal Engineers) Major H J F Jeffries (Leicestershire) Captain W R Evans (Leicestershire) Captain E E Wynne (Leicestershire) Lieutenant C Bourns (Rifle Brigade) Lieutenant F N Tarr (Leicestershire) Lieutenant D A Waddell (Gordon Highlanders) Lieutenant S G Wolfe (Lancashire Fusiliers) 2nd Lieutenant A G E Bowell (Leicestershire) 2nd Lieutenant S E Dove (Queen's Own) 2nd Lieutenant C R Fausset (Royal Irish) 2nd Lieutenant R E Hemingway (Sherwood Foresters) Sergeant L S Burton (Leicestershire Yeomanry) Sergeant W A Dalby (Leicestershire) Sergeant J Twigg (Leicestershire) Lance Corporal H R Somerville (Royal Fusiliers) Private J Brewin (Durham Light Infantry)   Tigers, England and Lions prop Dan Cole joined club historian Stuart Farmer to find out more about the players who fought for their country and paid the ultimate price in a recent BBC Radio Leicester documentary. Click here to listen to the documentary.   F is for Foundation The newly-launched Leicester Tigers Foundation aims to provide a wide range of programmes that engage and unite the community.   The Foundation aims to use those programmes to inspire people to do more and to expect more, and to improve their opportunities with the support of the Tigers Family, and to ensure that progression continues after participation.   The Foundation is at the heart of the local community and uses the power of sports and rugby to educate, motivate and inspire a positive future for all. Underpinning all that the Foundations does are the core values of rugby and the Tigers Family Traditions - respect, discipline, teamwork, hard work, and fun.   Using the power of the Tigers brand,the Foundation will to deliver community-focussed programmes and more than one million hours of coaching and positive support each and every year.   Click here for more on the Foundation.