Simon photographed outside the Union Church in Shanghai in 2012. The Union Church Hall, now demolished, was the location where the Shanghai Rugby Football Club was founded in 1904.
About the Author Simon was born in Coventry, Warwickshire, England in 1964. He has been involved in various rugby teams as a player and committee member since the early 1970s.
He moved to China in 1998 later becoming Chairman of the Hong Kong Pot Bellied Pigs Rugby Club. On moving to Beijing in 2003 he joined the Beijing Devils Rugby Club where he became Chairman in 2004. A further move to Shanghai in 2006 involved changing clubs again and joining the Shanghai Hairy Crabs Rugby Club. He served the ‘Crabs’ as Secretary, Second Team Captain, Club Captain and Honorary Historian. During his time in China he founded the Beijing Rugby League and co-founded the Shanghai Rugby League and the Yellow Sea Cup tournament.
Simon first experienced the joy of researching the past at the age of sixteen when he completed a project for his Archaeology ‘C.S.E.’ exam about the Saxon boundaries of Long Itchington, the Warwickshire village where he was raised. Thirty years later, in 2010, he embarked on his second project discovering the history of the old Shanghai Rugby Club. As a result of this research the Shanghai Hairy Crabs Rugby Club renamed itself the Shanghai Rugby Football Club and adopted the original 1904 club logo. He returned to England in 2013 from where he embarked on a Masters Degree in Sport History and Culture at De Montfort University. Having achieved a Distinction he is now turning his thesis into a book titled The Thundering Herd, the true story about how the US Fourth Marines started playing rugby in China in 1927 and, over the next 14 years regularly played rugby in Shanghai, on numerous occasions winning the annual championship, much to the chagrin of the Shanghai Rugby Football Club.