In memoriam

A Day of Remembrance: 9/11/2011

Join the San Francisco Fog Rugby Football Club this Sunday, September 11th, as they gather to remember the inspirational Fog Rugby player and 9/11 hero Mark Bingham.

First, from noon to 4pm, we will be gathering to watch the NBC broadcast of the Rugby World Cup match United States vs. Ireland on the Lone Star Saloon’s projection screen. During the broadcast, NBC will be airing a special segment dedicated to Mark’s legacy on rugby.

There will be drink specials ($4 Jack Daniels and $4 Jameson), stories shared about Mark from the people who knew him best, videos, and of course a good time as only FOG RUGBY can give you. Additionally, Holly Million, producer of the documentary “With You”, will be on hand to talk about the film. Don’t miss it!

Then, from 4pm to 8pm, join us for a very special $9 FOG RUGBY Beer Bust benefitting The Mark Bingham Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit scholarship fund organization dedicated to supporting the causes that Mark loved best. Plus, you’ll get more rugby on the big screen, tasty food from the grill, jello shots, and all the beer you can drink (responsibly)!

Place: Lone Star Saloon (1354 Harrison Street, San Francisco)
Date: Sunday, Sept 11th
Time: 12:00pm to 8:00pm

Mark Bingham (1970-2001)


Above: Mark Bingham; Alice Hoaglan awards The Bingham Cup trophy.

Every September 11, the Fog pauses to remember Mark Bingham, our friend and an early member of the San Francisco Fog.

Mark was a successful public relations executive who’d played rugby for the perennial national champions, UC Berkeley. The Fog, by contrast, was a newly formed club that hoped to join the competitive Northern California Rugby Football Union (NCRFU) as its first team geared primarily toward gay men and men of color.

We were mostly complete novices to the game, and our training sessions were horribly remedial, but Mark started showing up anyway. He coached, cajoled, and crashed through our practices, and played No. 8 in our first two friendly matches and in our first tournament (where he promptly dislocated his shoulder). He taught us his favorite rugby songs and made us feel like we were part of something bigger than ourselves. That was early 2001.

Over the summer the Fog did gain entry into the NCRFU. Mark, traveling in Europe, let us know how proud he was of the club’s achievement. He also told us what it meant for him to be part of a rugby team comprised entirely of gay men: “As we worked and sweated and ran and talked together this year, I finally felt accepted as a gay man and a rugby player. My two irreconcilable worlds came together.”

Mark never got another opportunity to play for the Fog. He was aboard United flight 93 when it crashed in rural Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001.

This Friday we will gather once again to remember Mark and the many gifts he brought to our young club. And as always, we will honor his mother, Alice Hoagland, too. A tireless supporter of Fog Rugby and of the international gay rugby movement, Hoagland can usually be seen cheering on teams from all over the world at the biennial Bingham Cup tournament, established by the Fog in 2002 in her son’s memory.


For the full text of Mark Bingham’s final email to the Fog, see our About page.

Mark Bingham (1970-2001)

Every September 11, the Fog pauses to remember Mark Bingham, our friend and an early member of the San Francisco Fog.

Mark was a successful public relations executive who’d played rugby for the perennial national champions, UC Berkeley. The Fog, by contrast, was a newly formed club that hoped to join the competitive Northern California Rugby Football Union (NCRFU) as its first team geared primarily toward gay men and men of color.

We were mostly complete novices to the game, and our training sessions were horribly remedial, but Mark started showing up anyway. He coached, cajoled, and crashed through our practices, and played No. 8 in our first two friendly matches and in our first tournament (where he promptly dislocated his shoulder). He taught us his favorite rugby songs and made us feel like we were part of something bigger than ourselves. That was early 2001.

Over the summer the Fog did gain entry into the NCRFU. Mark, traveling in Europe, let us know how proud he was of the club’s achievement. He also told us what it meant for him to be part of a rugby team comprised entirely of gay men: “As we worked and sweated and ran and talked together this year, I finally felt accepted as a gay man and a rugby player. My two irreconcilable worlds came together.”

Mark never got another opportunity to play for the Fog. He was aboard United flight 93 when it crashed in rural Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001.

This Thursday we will gather once again to remember Mark and the many gifts he brought to our young club. And as always, we will honor his mother, Alice Hoagland, too. A tireless supporter of Fog Rugby and of the international gay rugby movement, Hoagland can usually be seen cheering on teams from all over the world at the biennial Bingham Cup tournament, established by the Fog in 2002 in her son’s memory.


For the full text of Mark Bingham’s final email to the Fog, see our About page.

Ben Susau, 1987-2008

BEN SUSAU (Photo: Dave Santos)

It is with regret and deep sorrow that we report that Ben Susau, a winger for the San Francisco Fog RFC for the past two years, has unexpectedly passed away in Hawaii.

The Fog was the first club to give “Little Ben” an unequivocal taste of rugby, and he loved both the sport and the team immensely.

In the words of Fog member Hugh Keelan:

There was nothing little about Ben, either in presence or in spirit. On the field, he was a big-hearted, fearless, speedy winger; off the field, he had the biggest grin this side of Fiji.

I feel some comfort in knowing that where Ben has gone he’s now in the company of the Fog’s finest: Mark Bingham, Mark Rumple, Darrin Perry, Tim Fox. Those boys will look after him well. I reckon that together they’ll all be playing the game that’s played in heaven.

Rest in peace, Little Ben. We will miss you tremendously.