Full name Adrian Dura Stoop
Born March 27, 1883, Kensington
Died November 27, 1957, (registered in) Aldershot (aged 74 years 245 days)
Major teams Barbarians, Harlequins, England
Relations Brother - FM Stoop
|Test debut||England v Scotland at Richmond, Mar 18, 1905 match details|
|Last Test||Scotland v England at Inverleith, Mar 16, 1912 match details|
|Test Statsguru||Main menu | Career summary | Match list | Most points | Most tries | Tournament list|
Adrian Stoop was a legendary figure for both England and Harlequins, his most influential period being in the decade before World War One, although he played his last game for Harlequins in 1939 when he was 56.
He went from Rugby School to Oxford University, captaining them in 1904, and from there to Harlequins. He made the first of his 15 England appearances in 1905, but it was his innovative approach to the way the backs operated that stamped his mark on the game and made Harlequins one of the leading clubs. Until then, the two half-backs had been interchangeable, with the role of scrum-half decided by the side of the pitch the play was on.
He introduced designated scrum and fly-halves, an idea already in use in Wales and New Zealand but one he fine-tuned to great effect. He believed in the passing game and was passionate - often, as the Times noted in his obituary - driving home this point "with a caustic tongue which did not please everybody". He was also criticised in some quarters for inspiring his Harlequins side "to play handball not proper football".
Despite his burgeoning reputation he was unable to command a regular place in the England side and a broken collar bone in 1907 raised harsh doubts about his fitness. He captained Harlequins between 1906 and 1914, was secretary from 1905 to 1938 (barring a few war years in which won the MC) and president from 1920 to 1950. In 1932 he was secretary of the RFU.
The Harlequins home ground near Twickenham is named after him. Perhaps fittingly Stoop was largely responsible for the first try scored in an international at the larger Twickenham ground in 1910.