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Message from Tom Billups
TomBillups (IP Logged)
12 April, 2012 07:32
Please allow me to introduce myself to those I have not met. My name is Tom Billups and I was a hooker at the Stoop during the Dick Best and Andy Keast eras from 1996-1998. I retired from playing in 1999 and have since returned to America to coach the USA Eagles and am currently with the University of California, Berkeley.

Although I am embarrassingly late in sending this message, I wished to convey my appreciation for all your encouragement and support whilst I was at the club. Over the past 12 years I have reflected many times on the special moments I shared with Quins legends like Will Carling, Peter Winterbottom, Jason Leonard, Keith Wood, and Laurent Cabannes.

It was an exceptional time to be at the club and so it is with sadness that I have realized how few photo memories I have of that period. I therefore wondered whether I could ask for your help, for those who were at the Club, to see if anyone has any photos of me during my time at Quins please? I can be contacted directly at

I still follow Quins to this day and have been delighted that they have had such a successful season. As they say, once a Quin, always a Quin.

Warm regards

Tom Billups

Re: Message from Tom Billups
Mr_B (IP Logged)
12 April, 2012 11:08
I remember those days, very good memories, sorry can't help on the photo front but I do remember your time at the club,hope someone can help you out.

Have been to Berkeley a couple of times to watch college Throw ball, great place and I seem to recall you have a pretty good rugby set up there with quite a bit of success.

good luck with your request.

Re: Message from Tom Billups
NW Kent Quin (IP Logged)
12 April, 2012 11:19
Hi Tom,

I was there at the time but have no pics! sorry!
hope some other posters can help out.
If you're ever at the Stoop pm before, would love to stand you a pint and hear some stories, i'm sure you have many to tell!

Re: Message from Tom Billups
GrubbyQuin (IP Logged)
12 April, 2012 11:30
Hi Tom

Remember the days well. I had a load of Quins programmes from that period (around about the time that they opened the "new" stand) but one of my lasting regrets is that I binned them all (together with every copy of Viz from issue 1!!) when I got divorced in 2001!

Sorry, but best regards anyway!

Re: Message from Tom Billups
kevin (IP Logged)
12 April, 2012 13:26
I gave a load of old progs to someone on here to someone on here. Maybe they have some pics in them. Wait a mo!

Wozza, aint seen him on here lately and The Prof got some from me too.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/04/2012 13:29 by kevin.

Re: Message from Tom Billups
PickledPelican (IP Logged)
12 April, 2012 13:28

The chap to contact is Basil Lambert, email below, who at the very least can point you in the right direction.

There are a couple of club historians, who "store" everything you could ever want to see / know about the club

Good luck

Re: Message from Tom Billups
Alanquin (IP Logged)
13 April, 2012 10:02
I have a number of DVD's of matches from that period. If you can give me specific matches you played in i.e dates and opponents, I may be able to help

Re: Message from Tom Billups
RleQuin (IP Logged)
13 April, 2012 16:09
Hi Tom, my name is Nick Cross and I am part of the archives team. I will be at the club next week and will search through the photos to see what we have.
I will send you a separate email
best wishes

Re: Message from Tom Billups
Harley Quin (IP Logged)
13 April, 2012 18:55
Hi Tom,

If Nick says he will help you, you couldn't be in better hands! He has been a wonderful help to me in the past! :-)

Re: Message from Tom Billups
TomBillups (IP Logged)
17 April, 2012 08:07
Thank you all for your kind replies. I appreciate your time in reading my message and have been touched by the responses I have received.

Best wishes


Re: Message from Tom Billups
DOK. (IP Logged)
17 April, 2012 09:14
Hi Tom,

think the Rising Sun still has a couple of your playing jerseys! I've enjoyed your writing in I liked the idea of signing NFL players who weren't good enough up for USA rugby, did that experiment ever work out? USA still seems a sleeping rugby giant from this side of the pond.

Cheers, DOK

Re: Message from Tom Billups
TomBillups (IP Logged)
17 April, 2012 15:34
DOK - Thanks for your message. Yes, I believe the "Dan Lyle" and "Richard Tardits" experiments were successful but until recently the only thing USA Rugby could offer a crossover athlete was a tracksuit. Five month sevens contracts to a handful of athletes is a start. Remember though that the NFL minimum salary is north of $400,000 USD. The sevens contracts are about $20,000 USD.

While rugby will never replace the NFL or NBA in the American sporting landscape, there is room for our sport to improve it's footprint. The five Olympic rings mean a lot to the U.S. audience. Olympic success is critical to rugby growth in America.

Will look forward to buying you a pint in the Sun Inn next time I am in Richmond.

Re: Message from Tom Billups
Quinky Kin (IP Logged)
17 April, 2012 19:31
Hi tom,

My memory stretches back to your time at the Stoop, and sadly I recall you having a bad neck injury - how is that now? Better, I hope.

On a positive note re USA rugby, I see them every year at the Hong Kong Sevens. They play some really good rugby, and teams don't take them lightly. Sadly there was no Todd Clever this year, as he always has a big impact.

Good luck with the quest to make rugby bigger there. A friend played a season at Dallas RFC and loved it. Seems like DOK's right, USA is a sleeping giant in rugby terms.

One other thing - (nerd alert!!! That's how I know this grinning smiley ) USA are still the reigning Olympic champions at 15-a-side rugby...

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