'Mortified': How England RWC winner damaged the 2001 Heineken Cup
England World Cup winner Lewis Moody has revealed how he damaged the Heineken Cup 20 years ago following the stunning win by Leicester in the 2001 final versus Stade Francais in Paris. Tigers clinched glory with a last-gasp converted try, an achievement that was set to be celebrated again this month before a change in the restrictions governing indoor gatherings in the UK.
The 20th anniversary evening has now been rescheduled for September 29 but a special commemorative programme – Paris 2001 – that revisits an epic day in the history of Leicester had already been published and it is quite a brilliant revelatory read put together by the Tigers communications department.
Aside from a Where Are They Now look at the Leicester heroes from back then, they are multiple accounts of a magical Parisian weekend, including a confession by back-rower Moody over how he managed to damage the trophy not long after the final whistle at Parc des Princes.
Leicester had joined a post-game function on the River Seine and it is here that Moody tells all about what happened to him and later to fellow England World Cup winner Ben Key with the trophy.
“At the function, Austin (Healey) handed me the trophy to take a photo,” recalled Moody. “As he did so, he attempted to kick me in the privates. My instinct was to protect myself which meant using the Heineken Cup as a shield. The lid fell off and as it landed the ring on the top snapped off. I was mortified. I had managed to break the Heineken Cup an hour after Leicester had finally got its collective hand on it.”
"It was without a doubt my favourite rugby match"
– Today was meant to be a monster 20-year reunion for the 2001 Heineken Cup-winning @LeicesterTigers, but @BenKay5 instead had to settle for a more civilised nod to past glory@btsportrugbyhttps://t.co/7yQvdXVRCE
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) May 19, 2021
At least Moodey hadn’t lost the trophy, which is precisely what Kay feared he had done sometime later when dropping it over the side of the boat by accident. “Ben decided to take it outside for a photo,” continued Moody. “I joined him and watched as he attempted to put the cup down but instead dropped it over the side.
“Benny had the biggest panic attack, followed by the biggest sense of relief when he peered over the edge of the boat and discovered it had hit a ledge and rolled back onto the boat.”
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— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) June 28, 2021
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