Fireworks lit up the night sky around Twickenham Stoop on Monday as England and Harlequins legend Chris Robshaw played his final home match for the club he has represented since 2005.
The 34-year-old captained Quins from his trademark position at blindside flanker as they took on Wasps, who denied Robshaw a victorious ending on his home turf by coming back from 15-8 down to win 32-23.
It was Robshaw’s 136th appearance at The Stoop, the second-highest tally of any Harlequins player behind Mike Brown. He has captained the hosts in 60 of them, scoring 11 tries along the way.
The game being played behind closed doors denied Robshaw the opportunity to share his farewell with the Harlequins faithful but he was applauded on to the field by both sets of players amid the fireworks show which greeted the sides.
Afterwards, the former England captain took to social media to thank those who have supported from the stands over the years.
“I was devastated not to have the opportunity to share last night with you all,” he wrote.
“This club means absolutely everything to me; you have celebrated with me and consoled me since the very beginning and words alone can’t express how grateful I am for your undying support and companionship over the years.
“From the bottom of my heart, I mean it when I say you are my family and you always will be my family and The Stoop will always be my home.
“Although we didn’t share last night, I will never forget the feeling you give me every time I run out at The Stoop. One more to go.”
Robshaw’s final Quins appearance is set to come at Leicester Tigers on Sunday before he heads across the Atlantic to link up with Major League Rugby side San Diego Legion for the next two seasons.
The back-rower won 66 England caps, all of them as a starter, during an excellent nine-year international career which saw him captain his country on 43 occasions – more than any other England player in the professional era.
Robshaw made 30 Guinness Six Nations appearances between 2012 and 2018, scoring against Italy in the 2014 Championship and playing every minute of a 2015 campaign, which began with a famous triumph in Cardiff that saw the flanker make 26 tackles.
He was an ever-present in England’s Grand Slam win of 2016 and, as he prepares for his final match on these shores, his place as an all-time great for club and country is secure.