Harlequins FC

The Harlequin Football Club which is more commonly known as Harlequins FC is a professional rugby football club currently playing in the Aviva Premiership Rugby Football Union league where they are the reigning champions. The club plays its home matches at the iconic Twickenham Stoop stadium in London which is also the traditional home of the England national team. For a prolonged period, the club was known as the NEC Harlequins but after the sponsorship rights were bought by Etihad Airways, the club reverted back to its original name.

The formation of The Quins dates back to 1866 when the Hampstead Football Club was formed and the first official match the club played was in 1867. The club was renamed to Harlequins FC in 1870 mainly because the membership of the club was no longer restricted to the local people but there was also the need to retain the HFC abbreviation, which prompted the then officials of the club to decide upon the name. According to historians of the club, the members found the word ‘harlequin’ in the dictionary and all those who were present in the meeting unanimously accepted the name.

However, this also saw a split in the club membership with a section of disgruntled fans not happy with the change of name defecting from the club to go on and form what would become the London Wasps. During the first forty years of existence, the club travelled a lot and did not have a fixed home venue.

But in 1906, Harlequins FC was invited by the Rugby Football Union to play at Twickenham Stoop, which was not being used on a regular basis by the national team and before long, the club shifted its headquarters to the ground and have been at the venue ever since then.