The Englishman who walked (backwards) up a mountain

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

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Meet ‘Captain’ Bob. The Moodie Report may bear the name of its Founder and Publisher but Chief Operating Officer Bob Wilby is actually the guy who keeps it all together.

He’s been a constant at The Moodie Report since its early days, proving the perfect steady foil to the thoroughly disorganised traits of the Founder.

With his ex-military background (hence ‘Captain’) Bob is an organiser extraordinaire, somehow managing through (and the company out of) the chaos that regularly emanates from a few yards away at Moodie World Central.

I met the Captain many years ago when we both played rugby for a team nicknamed the Twickenham Bald-dogs, so dubbed because of the number of shiny pates in the backline, where we both played.

I first noticed Bob (never spell his name backwards by the way – it is the one thing that is guaranteed to make him mad) due to his rigorous pre-match fitness routine of a cigarette and a pint or two of Guinness or London Pride.

Back in those days he played on the wing. I was at stand-off half (number 10), directing play. That meant he never knew what was going on and often had to clean up the mess. Nothing has changed.

Including his fitness regime (pictured below) – which next week will be put to the test for the first time in years as the Captain joins the David Spillane-led Chasing Rainbows Tour (www.ChasingRainbowsTour.com) that is climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to perform the highest-ever altitude electrical rock gig in order to raise money for cleft charity The Smile Train.

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[Captain Bob Wilby doing a last-minute workout at The Moodie Report training retreat near London, prior to his assault on Kilimanjaro next week]

As gigs do, they don’t get any more daunting. The band – Sound Driver – plans to record a specially written song (‘Chasing Rainbows’) for The Smile Train on the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Members of the travel retail industry can then buy the song on download, with all proceeds going to The Smile Train.

It’s a fantastic concept. Though, of course, to record the song all that musical equipment has first to be carried up the mountain. Which is where Captain Bob comes in.  No he’s not carrying David Spillane up Kilimanjaro and nor, despite his name, is he scaling the peak backwards.

But he is carrying some of the musical equipment, along with a number of other brave souls who have not only volunteered their time but are actually paying for the privilege via sponsorship donations to The Smile Train.

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As the sole representative of The Moodie Report in this fantastic endeavour, Captain Bob has also been charged with sending us daily reports via whatever medium works at 5,895 metres up a mountain side.

For a man who thinks a Blackberry is something he may pick off a bush while climbing the lower slopes and Twitter some form of bird life that he’ll encounter along the way, this could be a challenge. And after all, when you’re carrying David Spillane’s grand piano on your back there’s little room for your laptop – and anyway the chances of a Wi-Fi connection at high altitude are probably marginal.

So it may be that The Moodie Report’s on-location exclusives from Kilimanjaro come via more traditional means – for those who know the Captain, a pigeon (flying backwards of course) seems the most likely medium.

[To support the Chasing Rainbows Tour – and The Smille Train – please visit www.ChasingRainbowsTour.com].

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  • Hey Captain Bob is a hero… to spend a week with DS anywhere takes a brave soul:)!!

    UP a mountain I’d imagine he can’t escape with that perennial “I’ve a meeting”!! All homage to the man who can get an Irish woman to do her expenses and keep his temper!! Good luck Bob.awaiting every story, make sure you get the milk right or you’ll never hear the end of it from DS… if he remembered the Barry’s!!

    Martin I hear they have the SwAp phone up there, generously provided by Scorpio…and phoning in live to RTE and other stations to build the smiletrain message with this story…..great to see TR taking this charity out to the very audience we all depend on..our end customers!!

    Trinity is getting through in this innovative venture…back to the people we hear count most for us all and the charity! This is a kinda “pop up shop” concept if you like, with the added plus of music! Good on them all for pushing our comfort zone .let alone theirs!!!

    Best – Jane