England Rugby Captain Lewis Moody

150 150 Rob McGibbon

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Published: 10 September 2011

England rugby captain Lewis Moody:

The prized possession you value above all others…My great-grandfather Lewis Walton Moody’s 1914 Star Campaign medal from World War I. He survived the war and, like my dad, I am named after him. My father gave me the medal, so it means everything to me.

The unqualified regret you wish you could amend…Not working hard enough at school. Girls and sport were much more exciting to me.  

The way you would spend your fantasy 24 hours, with no travel restrictions…I love ancient history so I’d visit Egypt with my wife, Annie, and trek around the pyramids. Then I’d take my boys, Dylan, four, and Ethan, one, on an outing that would get them dead excited, like Peppa Pig World in Hampshire.

The temptation you wish you could resist…Pick ’n’ mix sweets at the cinema. I always buy about £10 worth and devour the lot.

The book that holds an everlasting resonance…Somme Mud by an Australian soldier called Private Edward Francis Lynch. The diaries of his three years in the trenches are harrowing. I feel blessed and humbled by the privileges they fought for us to have.  

The priority activity if you were the Invisible Man for a day…I could think of something, but I’m not sure it would be entirely appropriate!

The way fame and fortune has changed you, for better and worse…I get invited to loads of amazing things, but the contradiction is I socialise less these days because, since becoming captain, I’m wary of people seeing me out having a good time with my mates.

The film you can watch time and time again…Old School with Will Ferrell is genius slapstick. He is my favourite comedy actor and the film is hilarious.

The person who has influenced you most…My dad, Lewis. His work ethic and focus taught me that to succeed in life you must have the determination to put your all into everything.

The figure from history for whom you’d most like to buy a pie and a pint…Winston Churchill. His speeches are so powerful, but he was also very humorous. I love his response when a woman accused him of being drunk and he said, ‘Madam, I may be drunk, but you are ugly. In the morning, I shall be sober, but you will still be ugly.’

The piece of wisdom you would pass on to a child…Listen to your parents. Be humble enough to realise you do not know everything and they have valuable wisdom.

The unlikely interest that engages your curiosity…Archaeology. As a boy I’d spend hours digging holes in our garden and get really buzzed finding clay pipes and old bottles. I watch Time Team with Tony Robinson religiously.

The treasured item you lost and wish you could have again…My grandad Basil’s penknife, which my dad gave to me when I was 14. I didn’t appreciate its sentimental value and lost it a few weeks later while camping.

The unending quest that drives you on…To play the perfect game of rugby. Even if you’ve played really well, there’s always something you wished you had done better.

The poem that touches your soul…The Soldier by Rupert Brooke. I first read it at school and found it incredibly moving. I still do.

The misapprehension about yourself you wish you could erase…My nickname is ‘Mad Dog’ because I play the game with total commitment, so there is a perception that I am a crazy psycho off the pitch. The reality is I’m a very normal, relaxed family man.

The event that altered the course of your life and character…Playing my first game for Leicester Tigers when I was 18 in 1997. I scored two tries and afterwards Rory Underwood said, ‘That was awesome.’

The crime you would commit knowing you could get away with it…I’d steal my all-time favourite car – a classic 1960s AC Cobra sports car.

The song that means most to you…My Hero by Foo Fighters. I listen to it on my iPod before every game.

The happiest moment you will cherish forever…Meeting my wife Annie for the first time at university. It was an instant attraction.

The saddest time that shook your world…The death of my grandfather. I was 11, and seeing my dad crying at the funeral was so difficult to understand because I was used to him being the strong person. He said, ‘You’ll have to look after me now.’

The unfulfilled ambition that continues to haunt you…To be an archaeologist. I think I watched the Indiana Jones films a bit too often as a kid!

The philosophy that underpins your life…I always train the way I mean to play. The same applies to my approach to life: give everything to everything. I never want to look back on my life and feel I didn’t try hard enough.

The order of service at your funeral…I would prefer an outside service and a party with good food and music, rather than something depressing.

The way you want to be remembered…As a loyal friend and someone who enjoyed himself and gave everything.

The plug...O2 sponsors the England Rugby team. To win a holiday to New Zealand, visit: www.getup forengland.co.uk.