The Day I Met my Hero, Stirling Moss

Today I read that Sir Stirling Moss has died at the age of 90. He was my teenage hero.

I met him at the Shannonville Race track in 1979 at a VRAC event. I had never been to one of these events before, I don’t remember if I knew he was going to be there. Suddenly he is on the field and people gathered around him to talk about cars and racing. I had a history with him because I’d grown up reading about his exploits in the newspapers, in Sheffield, Yorks. My family took two papers every week day and three on Saturday and Sunday.

He was famous because of his F1 exploits but also because he was famous for his exploits in everyday life. As I remember he couldn’t keep his driving license for very long because he was a terrible driver on the street. His sister was a famous equestrian rider/rally driver who was married to a famous Monte Carlo Rally driver, Eric Carlsson.

As we crowded around him, someone brought a picture of the cars at the Monte Carlo F1, I’m guessing, from the ‘60s. He was able to give the name and the team of every car, it was extraordinary. I asked him what had happened with his sister, Pat, he said she was as fat as ever! And that was it. As he walked away, it was amazing to see how his body functioned after that major surgery where they had stitched him back together, not one aspect of his body was in a straight line.


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