Lawrence 'Larry' Quinlivan Bulger (5 February 1870 – 17 March 1928) was an Irish rugby union player, athlete and doctor. Bulger played international rugby for Ireland and in 1896 was chosen to represent a British Isles XV in their tour of South Africa. Bulger, who was nicknamed 'Fat Cupid', was described as an elusive runner and a devastating tackler, one of Ireland's outstanding players.
Lawrence Bulger was born in County Clare in 1870. The Bulger family lived in Moore Street, Kilrush, where his father, Daniel Scanlan Bulger, was a woollen merchant and draper and ran a loan office. His mother Anne, nee Delany, was from Limerick. Later the Bulgers moved to Dublin, where Daniel was a stockbroker and city councillor. It was a sporting family. Lawrence and his brother Michael were educated at Blackrock College. Both of Lawrence's older brothers, Michael Bulger and Daniel Delany Bulger, were notable athletes: Michael also played rugby for Ireland and was one of the umpires whose aid disqualified Italian marathon runner Dorando Pietri at the 1908 Olympics; while Daniel was a five time British AAA athletics champion. Lawrence Bulger was an Irish 220 yard sprint champion, and through his connection with athletics was a representative at the Sorbonne in Paris when Pierre de Coubertin suggested the creation of a modern Olympic Games. Bulger was taken ill at Twickenham on Saint Patrick's Day, 1928 and died shortly after leaving the ground. He was 58
*************** The one name of that 1887 Blackrock Cup-winning side to become internationally known was Lawrence Bulger, known for some reason as "Fat Cupid."
Larry Bulger was the youngest of a remarkable trio of brothers and the first noted personality to emerge from Schools Cup rugby.
He was to go on to play for Trinity, Lansdowne, the Barbarians, Ireland and the touring British and Irish side in South Africa in 1896 where he scored 20 tries, by far the biggest total on that 21-match tour.
He played eight times for Ireland on the wing in those days when there were only three games each season, against England, Scotland and Wales. And as Blackrock had no senior team in the 1880s-90s Larry, like his older brothers before him went on to join Lansdowne.
Dan, the eldest, never won an international cap but in 1892 at Ballsbridge he set a world best of 15.8 seconds for the 120 yards hurdles. That may not appear all that fast in comparison with modern hurdling, but the event was much different in the gay nineties.
The hurdles were not the slim, easily toppled ones in use today. In Bulger's day you made contact at your peril with hurdles that were sturdy and intimidating. In addition, in his day the method of hurdling was with a bent lead leg, hardly conducive to the streamlined hurdling of today.
A little known fact about Dan Bulger was that he was accompanied, it is believed, by a a brother of Louis Magee the famous triple crown outhalf of the late nineties, when he travelled to the Sorbonne in Paris in 1894 for a congress organised by Baron de Coubertin.
That congress decided on the revival of the Olympic Games which were held for the first time two years later in Athens. Michael Bulger, the middle brother became a doctor and practised in London and was appointed the official doctor to the 1908 Olympics in London.
It was he who ordered the Italian marathon runner, Dorando, be taken off the track after officials had helped the distressed runner to pass the finishing line.
He feared Dorando would die if not taken away (he was, of course, disqualified) and it transpired that Dr Bulger had good reason for his disquiet because Dorando later admitted that he had taken wine laced with strychnine two miles before the finish. Dr Bulger's medical assistant for the 1908 Games was Dr Arthur Conan Doyle.
Larry Bulger also became a doctor and also practised in London. He was a prime mover in founding a new rugby club in London. They named it London Irish.