17 May 13
Harlequins has confirmed an exciting group of pre-season fixtures as it prepares for the start of the 2013-14 season.
HARLEQUIN PLAYERS ASSOCIATION
(known as Hopa)
Harlequin Players Association is the club within the club for those that have played for the club or made a significant contribution to Quins or rugby. It enables all players, past and present, to mix and keep in contact with others who have worn our famous quartered jersey. Its aim is to maintain the traditions, values and family atmosphere that have been an integral part of the Club throughout its history.
In 1999, Howell 'Tommy' Thomas, a former player and initiator of many Quins' events including the Invitational Sevens tournament that ran for over 25 years, set up Harlequin Old Players Association with the aim of enabling past players to mix and keep in contact with others who have worn our famous quartered jersey. Quickly known as Hopa, its first event was a Lunch at Simpsons-in-the-Strand with over 150 attendees. There followed more Lunches, reunions and golf events. In 2005, the membership was broadened to include present players as well as past from the professional Club, the Amateurs and Ladies. To reflect this wider membership, the name was changed to Harlequin Players Association.
There are over 500 members of HPA worldwide. Amongst its membership are players from the 1930s right up to the present day. Such notables as Peter Winterbottom, Jason Leonard, Will Greenwood, Bosco Tikoisuva and Earl Kirton are included amongst them. HPA's president is Bob Hiller.
Our annual lunch has moved from Simpsons to the Royal Automobile Club. Recent Guests of Honour have included Will Greenwood, Peter Winterbottom and Andre Vos and the likes of Dean Richards, Brian Moore and Mark Evans have proposed the toast to them. In addition, reunions are organised at Stoop; in the Members Clubhouse, there is an area known as Hiller's corner where HPA members can meet at every home match; golf days are held and a newsletter regularly circulated.
The spring golf meeting will be held at Clandon Regis Golf Club on Friday May 25th.Coffee and bacon rolls to start, 18 holes and lunch all for £50. Non-golfers are most welcome to join in the lunch. Contact Rhys Williams on Rhys@ckeservice.ltd.uk to book
Date for the golfers' diary is November 8th when the Autumn meeting will be held at The Richmond.
A date for everyone's diary is Friday November 2nd, the Annual Lunch at the RAC Pall Mall
A number of members have been recovering from illness or surgery. Pat Hollins has made a good recovery from all her travails of last year and her son, Graham, is hoping to bring her along to a home match this year, possibly we will see her at Stoop on May 12 if we have a home semi-final. We saw Chips Fretwell at Stoop for the Leicester match where Dawn and he provided a range of French cheeses and bread for after match nibbles. He is making steady progress on his recovery for an operation for prostate cancer. Eight months ago, David Puddle was paralysed from the neck down when an operation went wrong. He is back up on his feet again albeit with the aid of crutches. The doctors are confident that he will make further improvement over the next 18 months.
Keith Jones has been appointed HPA's almoner to keep in touch with those who are less able to make it to Stoop these days or have undergone major surgery or are suffering serious illness. If you know of anyone who falls into these categories, please let Keith know on email@example.com .
Who's in the picture?
Here is a picture of a Wanderers side at Teddington sometime in the 1950s. Who are the players in the team? No prizes for recognising David Brooks seated in the centre or Howell Thomas in the blazer on the left but what about the rest?
Let HPA's Secretary, Graeme Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org know whom you can identify and, if you know, the year it was taken.
For further information about HPA, please contact our Secretary, Graeme Roberts, on email@example.com or call him on 07949 082256.