Monday, January 22, 2007

The Gareth MacFadyen Cup

The Gareth MacFadyen Cup , more commonly known as the GM Cup is a local derby-style memorial Rugby footballrugby match contested on an annual basis in Tokyo, Japan, between the two leading foreign rugby teams in Japan; the Tokyo Crusaders and the Yokohama Country and Athletic Club.

The match is played in memoriam for Gareth MacFadyen (1976-2000), a young New Zealander who was a successful young stockbroker and a leading player for both teams on the social rugby circuit in Japan during a period spanning 1996 to 2000.

Gareth MacFadyen
MacFadyen's tragic death in 2000 was widely reported through both the Japanese, New Zealander and rugby news media for its untimely and unfortunate circumstances.

He died from extensive burns suffered as a result of being set alight while in costume as a prank during a Christmas work party by a colleague. His colleague was subsequently jailed for two years on the charge of manslaughter in New Zealand in 2001.

Gareth MacFadyen was notable for playing for both the Tokyo Crusaders and the Yokohama Country and Athletic Club rugby teams, which are considered traditional rivals in the greater Tokyo region.

The Tokyo Crusaders rugby club retired their number 8 jumper – being Gareth's preferred playing position, as a mark of respect in 2001.

History of the Cup
The Gareth MacFadyen cup was designed in Brisbane, Australia and made in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2001 as a result of sizeable charitable donations made by Tokyo Crusader and YCAC club members.

The trophy is a sterling silver cup with winged floral handles on a polished hardwood base, measuring some 60 centimeters in height and surmounted by a golden crusader figurine.

The concepts of a trophy and memorial grudge match were proposed by Michael Mayrseidl and Rob Keay respectively as members of the Tokyo Crusaders rugby club.

The trophy match itself is traditionally held at the Yokohama Country and Athletic Club's ground in Yamate and is played under standard international rugby rules.

Both sides contest the memorial trophy with the winner of the match retaining the right to hold and display the trophy. The trophy is currently installed in Paddy Foley's Irish Bar in Roppongi.

Previous years events have seen the MacFadyen family flown out to Japan from New Zealand to present the winning team with the Cup. Future matches are slated to have international level referees suchas Paddy O'Brien officiating.

In the 5 years since its inception it has become widely regarded as the most important rugby event in the foreign community calender in Japan.

Previous GM Cup winners and scores

Date / Winning team / Score

March 2001 Tokyo Crusaders 6-5
January 2002 YCAC 10-5
December 2002 YCAC 45-14
December 2003 Tokyo Crusaders 35-10
November 2004 YCAC 18-14
November 2005 Tokyo Crusaders 31-5
November 2006 YCAC 22-19

External links

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