Monday 22 July 2019

'Do you know who I am? – BOD reveals embarrassing Coppers Face Jack's moment

Wayne O'Connor

Wayne O'Connor

Brian O’Driscoll’s autobiography reveals his battle with terrible eyesight, his days on the celebrity circuit, a diva moment and how uncomfortable he was receiving titles such as Ireland’s sexiest man.

He also admits to an embarrassing moment outside Dublin's well-known nightclub, Copper Face Jacks.

Despite being a reluctant celeb, Brian (35) does admit that he once tried the cringeworthy ‘do you know who I am’ to a security member.

“As soon as I ask the question I know it sounds bad. ‘Sorry – you know me, right?’” Brian writes. “The way it comes out jars, like I’m putting myself on a pedestal rather than reminding (the bouncer) that we’ve met before. He’s not impressed, he shows me downstairs again. Proper order.”

The Ireland rugby hero describes in his autobiography The Test how he first encountered fame when his face was splashed over the front pages of tabloids with his then girlfriend, Glenda Gilson, in 2003.

And teammate Ronan O’Gara jumps on the opportunity to slag Brian about his fame.

Brian O'Driscoll. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Brian O'Driscoll. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

“The dressing room can be a savage place and I know what’s coming next. Rog sees the picture and savours every word in the article, with its cringe-making reference to Ireland’s Posh and Becks.

Read more: O'Driscoll: Amy made me wait before moving in

“It’s an open goal for him. In the business of ripping the p**s out of people, he’s already world-class. He doesn’t need his material served up to him on a silver platter,” Brian writes. “Rog’s wit is like a blade. He cuts you up, but he’s funny.”

Later in 2004, he was given the title of Ireland’s Sexiest Man  by judges at a bash organised by Social and Personal magazine.

Later that night he appeared on the Late Late Show and he was less than prepared for the interview.

“Pat Kenny, the host, doesn’t look gift horses in the mouth. He isn’t even subtle about it – he full-on takes the p*** as soon as I’m in my chair,” he said. “I say nothing. I have no words to respond. In my entire life I have never been as uncomfortable,” he added. But BOD quickly realised the world of celebrity didn’t sit easy with him.

“I don’t feel comfortable with the kind of celebrity that has come my way and I’m not very good at it either,” he wrote.

Bod later speaks about his first set-up date with Amy Huberman where he arranged with PR guru Joanne Byrne to ‘casually’ bump into her in the Merrion Hotel.

And he details how his now wife broke the news to him about her pregnancy. The actress and author handed him an envelope with a note inside which read: ‘First there were two and then there were three’ in the couple’s back garden – in the same spot where he had asked her to marry him.

He said he was initially “flabbergasted” and “panicked” when he read the message tucked neatly inside the envelope.

“It’s a nice moment, a great moment,” he wrote.

Read more: 'A French fan came at me with fists flying'

“It’s a few more seconds before I really take it in, but when I do it’s the greatest feeling I’ve ever had, hands down. It supersedes any medal.”

The former number 13 recalls his highlights on the pitch but it is the lows that strike a arresting note – particularly the Tana Umaga spear tackle on the Lions 2005 tour of New Zealand.

“Then, and probably forever, the sick feeling in my stomach whenever I’m asked to relive the incident, as if I’m being asked for the very first time, not the 500th,” he said.

Despite the injury ending his tour, O’Driscoll stayed on in New Zealand – something he now regrets.

However, it appears from the book that O’Driscoll came to prominence despite having terrible eye-sight.

The former Ireland captain’s vision was so bad that he could not read a scoreboard.

“As the 2009-10 season draws near – my eleventh as a professional – the record shows that I’ve played 99 games of test rugby for Ireland and the Lions. Never once have I been able to read a scoreboard,” he said.

It was only after advances in laser-eye surgery that he was able to have his eye-sight corrected that season.

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