The Harlequin Football Club

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The Harlequin Football Club was founded in 1866 (although the first recorded game was not until 1867) as Hampstead Football Club and renamed in 1870. This, according to which story you believe, has two accounts. The first is that there was a meeting under a street lamp at two o'clock in the morning in Hampstead! The second and more believable story is that the name was changed when the membership was no longer a purely local one.

A meeting was called and because the HFC monogram had to be retained, a dictionary was produced and, when the reader reached Harlequin, he was stopped and all present agreed and so the new name was born. An offshoot of this was that there was a split in the membership of the Hampstead Football Club and the half that did not form the Harlequins went off and formed a club known as the Wasps. For our first 40 years, we were very nomadic in our existence and played at a total of 15 venues. Since 1909, we have only played at three!

In 1906, Quins were invited by the Rugby Football Union to use the new national stadium in Twickenham. In those early days only one or two internationals were played there during the season, and it wasn't long before the RFU ground became the Headquarters of the Harlequin Football Club. In 1963, Quins acquired an athletics ground with 14 acres just over the road from the RFU ground, which became the Harlequin training pitch. This has subsequently become our home, known for many years as the Stoop Memorial Ground, before being renamed to the Twickenham Stoop in 2005. The stadium is named after Adrian Dura Stoop, who won 15 caps for England and is said to have been the person who developed modern back play.

He was born on 27th March 1883 in London. His father was Dutch (naturalised English) and his mother was half Scottish and half Irish. He went to school at Dover College, Rugby school and then to Oxford University, getting his Blue in his second year, 1902. He was then captain in 1904. In all he played 182 times for Quins between 1901 and 1939, captained the side for eight years, was honorary secretary for 28 years and finally became President between 1920 to 1949. He died on 27th November 1957, aged 74 years.

This site itself, situated in the centre of rugby excellence, provided the club with a ground that could be developed. Over the years much has been done to improve the facilities, starting in 1997 with the introduction of the Etihad Stand that runs along the whole length of the East touchline. This stand seats 4,200 spectators, all of whom have an excellent view of the game. There are 25 boxes for corporate hospitality, and inside the stand there is a restaurant facility and three large bar areas. In 2005, the Lexus stand was opened that runs along the length of the West touchline. The Lexus stand brought high quality new facilities to the Stoop, including a new members' bar, a new club shop, 14 corporate hospitality boxes, three new corporate lounges, new player and officials' changing facilities, new club offices and new media facilities. Furthermore, the introduction of the Lexus stand increased the capacity of the Stoop to 12,700.

Reviews (1)

Richard Woods Richard Woods

The best team in the world!

Reviewed on 17 Oct 2012

Could not help but plug my team! - Great family friendly club.

Garenteed to have a good day out

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Twickenham Stoop Langhorn Drive Twickenham, Middlesex, TW2 7SX

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020 8410 6000


Nearest Overground: Twickenham

Tube: Richmond