How NOT to win ‘Foxes’ friends and influence people

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

On Monday night The Moodie Report was lucky enough to meet a second football legend in the space of three weeks, following David Beckham’s appearance at the TFWA World Exhibition in Cannes. Ex-England and Real Madrid star Michael Owen was at the Tower of London in the UK to launch his two Harvey’s of Edinburgh single malt Spey whiskies, The Michael Owen Limited Edition and The Golden Choice.

Following introductory speeches from Harvey’s of Edinburgh CEO John McDonough and Michael Owen, Malcolm Davies of Brand Harbour (Harvey’s travel retail drinks consultancy) enthusiastically introduced me to the ex-England football star, noting my life-long allegiance to Premiership football team Leicester City.

So, there I was, my big moment to meet football legend Michael Owen and (don’t be fooled by his innocent baby face), standing like a nervous penalty taker over the ball. Then, his fateful first words…

“I’m sorry, but I think Leicester are going to go down.”

Thanks, Michael. Lovely to meet you, too!

You see, anything would have been better than those opening words. That’s because both The Moodie Report family and the Pawson family care deeply about Leicester City, the famous ‘Foxes’ owned by an offshoot of King Power International (Group Chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha is the club’s Chairman and Senior Executive Vice President Susan Whelan is CEO).


Left: The Michael Owen Limited Edition; right: The Golden Choice
[Left: The Michael Owen Limited Edition; right: The Golden Choice]
Friends again: Spey Brand Ambassador Michael Owen and The Moodie Report's Helen Pawson
[Friends again: Spey Brand Ambassador Michael Owen and The Moodie Report’s Helen Pawson]
My parents, both football nuts, were eager to hear about my meet with THE Michael Owen. However, I will leave readers to imagine the response from my mother (a Leicester City season ticket holder for over 40 years) when I revealed Owen’s first words to me.

A short but sharp response from my mother: “We will see about that, won’t we?”

That, Michael, is how NOT to win friends who support Leicester City.

However, all was forgiven after a tipple of fine Scotch whisky and when he flashed his smile – still every bit as wide and as bright as that he wore just after his ‘wonder goal’ against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup – for a picture with me.

Michael (a very nice guy by the way) is not exactly a hardened whisky drinker; in fact he only tried it for the first time just six months ago: “I never bought whisky as a drink when I went out. But obviously getting involved in the whole process, not just tasting whisky, but learning about it, there’s a story to be told. All the different ways that whisky is distilled is fascinating. It’s obviously an industry that is really booming as well.”

He’s right. And so, for the record, are the Foxes. So let’s forget those rumours of relegation shall we? In fact let’s Scotch them altogether.

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