Now Reading
9/11 hero who fought off terrorists and inspired rugby’s gay World Cup

9/11 hero who fought off terrorists and inspired rugby’s gay World Cup

This weekend the biggest gay rugby event in the world kicks off in Amsterdam, where teams of LGBT rugby players will compete to win the coveted Bingham Cup.

But what exactly is the Bingham Cup, and how did it all start?

The event’s full title is The Mark Kendall Bingham Memorial Tournament.

Mark Bingham with his mother

Gay rugby player tackled terrorists on United 93

Mark was one of the plane passengers who died in the September 11th, 2001 terror attacks in the US.

He is credited for his heroic actions on board United Flight 93, as he led a group who attempted to seize control of the plane back from hijackers.

The terrorists wanted to crash the aircraft into Washington DC, however, Mark and his fellow passengers thwarted their plan. The plane instead crashed in a Pennsylvania field.

Mark was born in Los Gatos, California, and ran a successful public relations company. He was also mad keen on rugby and played for gay inclusive rugby union team San Francisco Fog.

The International Gay Rugby Association and Board (IGRAB) set up the biennial event to promote rugby union as an all-inclusive, non-discriminatory sport.

The association decided to give Mark’s name to the event to honor his memory.

San Francisco hosted the first tournament in 2002 and it now in its ninth year.

The ARC Amsterdam Lowlanders Rugby Club, an inclusive men’s rugby team founded in 2003, are the hosts for this year’s tournament.

Rugby teams from all over the world are taking part, with many hosting fun events in order to raising their own funds to pay for travel and accommodation.

Tournament opens up to women’s teams for first time

The 2018 Bingham Cup will feature four women’s rugby teams for the first time. The women’s teams come from Sweden, Canada, the Netherlands, and one team made up of players from all over the world.

In all, 70 teams will compete in 200 matches from Friday to Sunday.