Rugby Tournament Named for Mark Bingham to be Played in Ireland
Friday, April 20, 2007
Dublin’s Emerald Warriors have won the right to host the 2008 Bingham Cup, facing off tough opposition from Paris and Sydney. The Bingham Cup is a bi-annual event and the world’s premier gay rugby tournament. It will see teams from across the globe converge on Dublin to compete in what is always a fiercely contested tournament. The Bingham Cup is named after Mark Kendall Bingham DD ’92.
Mark was an American public relations executive who founded his own company, the Bingham Group. He was a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, and president of his fraternity, Chi Psi.
He died at age 31 in the September 11, 2001, on board United Airlines flight 93. He was among the passengers who stormed the cockpit to prevent the hijackers from using the plane to kill hundreds or thousands of additional victims. In a cell phone call to his mother, Alice Bingham, shortly before the plane went down, he told her, "some of us here are going to try to do something."
For his actions, he was posthumously lauded as The Advocate’s 2001 Person of the Year. Senators John McCain and Barbara Boxer honored him in a ceremony for San Francisco Bay Area victims on September 17, 2001, presenting a folded American flag to his former partner, Paul Holm, as singer Melissa Etheridge dedicated the song "Tuesday Morning" to his memory.
A strapping athlete, at 6 ft 4 inches and 225 pounds, Mark played for the San Francisco Fog. In college, he was a star on the Berkeley rugby team, leading them to a string of national championships. In his honor, the International Gay Rugby Association and Board’s (IGRAB) biannual international rugby competition aimed predominantly for gay and bisexual men was named the Bingham Cup and first hosted by Mark’s team, the San Francisco Fog in 2002.
Endorsed by the IRFU, the competition will take place at the DCU Sports Complex, Dublin from 13-15 June 2008.
The competition includes women's and men's rugby. Philip Browne, Chief Executive of the IRFU said: "The Irish Rugby Football Union extends its best wishes and message of support to the Emerald Warriors rugby team and its participation in the Bingham Cup rugby tournament."