Manchester will host the Bingham Cup tournament in June 2012.

The city beat Sydney to win the right to host the international gay rugby world championship and was named as the 2012 host city on Wednesday.

More than 1,000 players will descend on the city for the three-day event at Broughton Park.

Gay rugby teams from around the world voted on which city should host the event and Manchester beat Sydney by 34 votes to 28.

Manchester’s bid was lead by the Village Spartans, from the city’s gay village. They secured the support of a range of big names, including gay Welsh player Gareth Thomas and gay pin-up Ben Cohen.

Matt Whiteley, who plays for the Spartans, told the Manchester Evening News: “We are absolutely over the moon. It was really tight but we got the decision in the end. It should be fantastic.”

Cohen, who plays for Sale Sharks, added: “Well done to Manchester on winning the bid to host the Bingham Cup.”

Paul Wheeler, part of the bid team, wrote on Facebook: “We have been successful in our bid to host the 2012 Bingham Cup.

“The Cup will be coming to Manchester in June 2012. We would like to thank you for all your support and advocacy over the last few months.

“We would like especially like to thank the Sydney team for the spirit in which the bid process has been conducted. We are now working closely with IGRAB to ensure a successful delivery of the tournament.”
The Bingham Cup is held every two years at cities around the world.

It began in 2002 and was named after Mark Bingham, a gay former University of California-Berkeley rugby star. He died in the September 11th 2001 attacks on board United Airlines Flight 93.