He has held his nerve on the rugby pitch in front of thousands representing his country and is a father of four daughters, so Brian Moore knows a thing or two about life. We spoke to the family man and personal friend of Paddy and Ursula Heyland about playing for England, life in lockdown and Father’s Day.
Representing your country on the rugby pitch is a really big responsibility. What would you do to hold your nerve and how would you relax afterwards?
I knew how hard it was going to be and just wanted to get out there and play. The build-up was the difficult part, because you really need to keep focused. Once you kick off it’s fine, because you’re playing. The best way to do it is to become more simplistic and think about the little things. Sometimes it might be the first minute or the first line out. That way it stops you from getting too carried away with the responsibility of the occasion.
Afterwards, in my day you just drank a lot and had a good time.
You and your wife Belinda have become regular fans of Heyland & Whittle. How did you come across our products in the first place?
I met Paddy at the Heyland & Whittle pop-up shop in Wimbledon several years ago and he gave me a bag of stuff to try. That made us go back each year and the next time we went Ursula was there too. They’ve become friends and it’s great to support a local family-run business working really hard in a global market. We usually see them at the Chelsea Flower Show and Hampton Court, but of course they aren’t happening this year.
Which products are your favourites? And which ones does Belinda like?
The Charcoal Soap and the Exfoliating Bar. The Shampoo Bar is a little wasted on me, but Ursula said I can have a free year’s supply of that! We have the Amber and Oakmoss Hand & Body Wash in the kitchen. I use the Wild Lemongrass Hand & Body Wash and the Tea Tree Soap is good for my psoriasis. I think the Rainbow Soap is such a clever idea to use up all the leftover bits. I don’t know why more companies don’t do things like that.
Bel [Brian’s wife Belinda] likes the Citrus & Lavender Body Wash and because her life’s fairly hectic she relaxes with the Clementine & Prosecco Bubbles. The two older girls have now started using it too. The middle daughter has found sleeping in lockdown quite difficult, so the lavender oil products have been really useful.
You’re a dad to four kids. Father’s Day must be like Christmas in your house. What’s the best Father’s Day present you’ve received over the years?
There’s been two that really stand out. The first was a collection of 64 words to describe me and my interests, which was from the older girls. The second was a coloured picture from all four of the girls with their hand prints on it.
Have there been any clangers or epic fails?
Not for Father’s Day. I once gave my first wife a cordless iron for Valentine’s Day, because she said she wanted one. That didn’t go down very well.
With lockdown rules easing but social distancing still in place, how will your family be celebrating Father’s Day this year?
With a family barbecue, I expect. I’ve just got a new bike, so I might go out on that as well.
What have you learned or really begun to appreciate over the course of lockdown?
With five females in the house I’m really outnumbered, but Bel pointed out the other day that the eldest is 18 and will be heading to university soon. The 12-year-old will start to spend more time with friends and do more outside of the family. It’s unusual to have such an extended period of time all together and we probably won’t get that again.
If there’s one thing you’re particularly looking forward to doing once we have more freedoms post-pandemic, what is it?
Pubs. I don’t go a lot, but when you can’t go you really miss them. There used to be 11 pubs in Wimbledon near where I live and now there’s three. It’s likely one of them will go bust; it’s called the Garden Shed and is run by some South Africans. I hope they’ll be able to ride it through and not be taken over by a big chain. I’m looking forward to getting out and supporting them.
What’s the best advice you pass on to your children?
Don’t think you know everything, like I used to think. It’s taken me a long time, but now I know to listen to people.
What’s your favourite memory of playing for England?
There’s been so many. The first tackle against Scotland in 1987; the first Grand Slam in 1991; and the second Grand Slam in 1992. It’s rare for teams to win back-to-back Grand Slams and it was a huge honour for me.