Johnny Moore: They shoot horses, don't they?


I love sport, watching sport. Even darts. If you put a telly in front of me showing test cricket, or anything for that matter, I'll still be stuck there hours later, having achieved nothing except for a lot of mouth- breathing.

Sometimes I get so enthralled, I forget to swallow. So, when people ask why I don't have TVs in my bar, I admit it's because of my own inability to cope. I'm a drooling fool for televised sport, I say, and it would be a damned dry bar.

Over the weekend I watched what must have been the most enthralling Super Rugby final yet. I watched Dan Carter hobble off the field with another injury and really felt for the guy. I've met Dan on a couple of occasions and if there's a nicer guy in sport I've yet to meet him.

The disappointment must have been immense. It's like having your piston explode on the last lap of a race. All that work in the lead-up seems like it was for nothing.

Professional sportspeople, especially those that play heavy contact sports, certainly put high mileage on their clocks and I wonder if later in life they have to deal with the consequences. I'm often amazed by how fast they come back from horrific injuries to take the field for another go.

The damage that some sportspeople suffer makes me wonder about the relationship between professional players and their employers regarding injuries. The way it is now, half these guys will be in wheelchairs by the time they're 50, or on their second set of artificial knees and hips. Would they have a case for seeking compensation from their former employer for allowing such damage to be done?

Like if it was a factory and a worker showed that, at the time, it was well known that hearing protection lessened the risk of deafness later in life but his employer said:

"Yeah, nah. She'll be right, Jimmy. That blood coming out your lugs is nothing to worry about."


"Good. Now back to work."

What makes this destruction of a person's body OK? Is it fine if they really want to do it? Or is it just once someone is being paid astronomical sums of money that it becomes fine?

Frankly, I blame Buck Shelford having his scrotum torn open, stitched up and continuing to play for creating the macho culture that dominates sport in this country

I ask these questions as an employer. If I pay my staff enough, how much long-term damage can I inflict upon them?

Over the summer one of my staff showed up at work having being collected off his bike en-route to work. He swore he was OK but I thought the blood running down his face and the way his eyes were rolling back in his head were indications that I probably couldn't expect him to work his shift.

I took him up to A&E where they checked him over, said he had a good concussion and sent him home with a pocketful of painkillers.

After watching some sportspeople return to the field I'm now wondering if I should have just strapped a bar towel under his helmet to catch the blood and told him to get back on the taps.

"Booze isn't going to sell itself mate. You'll be fine. Just think about Buck Shelford's scrotum..."

The Press