Mark Bingham and his mom Alice Hoagland.

Mark Bingham and his mom Alice Hoagland.

The Bingham Cup is named in honour of Mark Bingham, a great rugby player and a great guy. He was fundamental in the establishment of two premier gay rugby clubs – the San Francisco Fog and the Gotham Knights. He is also now known internationally as one of the heroes of 9/11. The global gay rugby community are privileged to compete in the Bingham Cup named in his honour.

Mark Bingham, a former University of California, Berkeley rugby star, was instrumental in the establishment of the San Francisco Fog Rugby Football Club. A few months later after the Fog was admitted to the Northern Californian Football Union, Bingham died in the September 11 attacks on board United Airlines Flight 93. He was one of a group of passengers who took amazing measures to attack the hijackers, which eventually led to them crashing the plane into a vacant field in Pennsylvania instead of its targets of Washington, D.C.

At the time of Mark Bingham’s tragic death, only six gay and inclusive rugby clubs existed worldwide. Two of those were co-founded by Mark. Today there are almost 60 clubs. The Bingham Cup is the global event that promotes rugby union as an inclusive non-discriminatory sport.

In an email to the Fog after their acceptance into their local union, Bingham wrote,

“We have the chance to be role models for other gay folks who wanted to play sports, but never felt good enough or strong enough. More importantly, we have the chance to show the other teams in the league that we are as good as they are. Good rugby players. Good partiers. Good sports. Good men."

Text and picture sourced from the Bingham Cup official website: