Sport, conscience and courage

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

Readers of The Moodie Blog will know that I am mildly biased towards the All Blacks, the greatest sporting team on the planet in my neutral, considered, opinion (yes, yes, I know that they have not won the World Cup since 1987* – will people please STOP reminding me…)

They will also know that The Moodie Report has been championing the cause of a young Irishman called Stuart Mangan (pictured below after and before his injury), who at the age of 24 suffered a devastating rugby injury in a club match in London earlier this year that has left him without any movement below the neck for the rest of his life.

stuart_mangan_remembrance

In recent days I am delighted to report that my love of the All Blacks and my concern for Stuart converged in a pragmatic way. The All Blacks have just completed a tour of the UK and Ireland, playing Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England in successive weeks.

When The Moodie Report put in a request to the New Zealand Rugby Union for the All Blacks squad to sign a jersey to help raise funds for Stuart, the answer was both immediate and positive. Team Manager Darren Shand not only ensured the team signed the jumper but rang our office to ensure we knew where to collect it.

That jersey is now worth a lot of money – less than 48 hours after we collected it, the All Blacks beat England by 32 points to 6 to complete a rare ‘Grand Slam’ over the four home nations.

We are currently having the signed item framed and it will be dispatched to Stuart to become a key fund-raising item in a major charity auction that is planned during the coming year or so. That is being organised by Stuart’s brothers, one of whom – John – is L’Oréal UK Luxury Fragrance Division Deputy General Manager.

We’re delighted to also report that the travel retail industry, having read of Stuart’s plight, has been typically spontaneous and generous in its support. The Dubai Duty Free Foundation donated US$10,000 to the Stuart Mangan trust, joining earlier donations from World Duty Free (very generous), The Moodie Report and Olivier Bottrie, The Estée Lauder Companies President, Travel Retailing Worldwide.  Brown-Forman Beverages is also preparing to donate a highly valuable item to the planned chariy auction.

On our home page you’ll also see an ad for an excellent new book, called ‘Great Moments of Sportsmanship & Extraordinary Sports People’ by London-based Irish author Paul (PR) Smith. A percentage of the sales from the book is going to the Stuart Mangan Appeal. If you want a really nice, heart-warming read – or festive gift – I recommend this book wholeheartedly.

Stuart, by the way, is making good progress, and will soon move into his own specially fitted apartment in London. He plans to live a full and meaningful life. (If you wish to donate, please visit www.StuartMangan.org).

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