Photograph by Jess A. Bunshaft
More than 1,000 pairs of thick, meaty, man legs from around the world will be tackling, sweating and piling on each other for three days when Manchester, England hosts the Bingham Cup, the world championship of gay and inclusive rugby teams.
The Bingham Cup is a biennial event awarded by the International Gay Rugby Association and Board, and named after September 11 hero and gay rugby player, Mark Bingham, who died on United Airlines Flight 93.
From June 1 to 3, Manchester will host more than 30 rugby teams from 15 countries competing to topple the current champions, New York’s Gotham Knights, who defeated the previously twice-crowned Sydney Convicts at the 2010 tournament in Minneapolis.
It is particularly poignant that Gotham Knights was founded by Scott Glaessgen and Mark Bingham, who prior to his untimely death was a part-time New York City resident and business owner. A personal note from Alice Hoagland, Mark’s mom, posted on the Facebook page of the Manchester Bingham Cup states: “You know, the Bingham Cup really is a special event for me. The fact you chose to name the tournament in Mark’s memory makes me very proud. What touches me most, though, is the spirit that it evokes and an idea which was close to Mark’s heart – that anyone, regardless of who they are, can grab a ball and a jersey and run onto a rugby pitch.”
Alice will be attending the 6th Bingham Cup in Manchester, as she has every Bingham Cup since the first tournament was held in San Francisco in 2002.
For more information about the tournament visit BinghamCup.com