Stirling Moss is the mold from which all other sports heros should be made. A racing legend from F1, rallying and sports cars, he has spent the better part of the last half-century doing it for fun on the vintage circuit. All along, he’s been a warm, approachable, interesting person, all while still driving cars in anger like he did in the glory days.
A couple days ago he fell down the lift shaft at his home. As another example of his understanding of what it means to be a hero, he wasted no time in writing an email to friends and fans, which was just published by Keith Martin’s Sports Car Market.
DEAR ALL OF YOU,
THE LAST FEW DAYS HAVE BEEN QUITE FANTASTIC AND I’D LIKE TO THANK EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU FOR YOUR KIND THOUGHTS, MESSAGES AND OTHER PARAPHERNALIA.
ON SATURDAY EVENING, I WAS AT HOME WITH SUSIE, ELLIOT AND HELEN AND ABOUT TO LEAVE FOR A CURRY, FOR WHICH WE WERE RUNNING LATE. I ASKED HELEN TO JOIN ME IN THE LIFT TO GO DOWNSTAIRS, BECAUSE SUSIE AND ELLIOT WERE SMART ENOUGH NOT TO RIDE IN MY LIFT. I OPENED THE DOOR AND STEPPED INTO THE LIFT, WITH HELEN READY TO FOLLOW ME, WHICH SHE NEVER DID. THAT IS BECAUSE THE LIFT HAD STOPPED ON THE FLOOR ABOVE AND INCORRECTLY ALLOWED THE DOOR BENEATH IT TO OPEN.
STILL CHATTING TO HELEN, I STEPPED INTO THE OPEN DOORWAY–AND FELL TO THE BOTTOM OF THE LIFT SHAFT.
THE AMBULANCE WAS CALLED AND ARRIVED AT RACING SPEED, WHEREUPON THEY PUT ME ONTO A SERIES OF ABOUT 10 STRETCHERS! HAVING FINALLY SETTLED ON WHAT MUST HAVE SEEMED A GOOD ONE, I WAS TAKEN, ALONG WITH MY FAMILY TO THE ROYAL LONDON HOSPITAL IN WHITECHAPEL, WHERE THEY USED ANOTHER BATCH OF SIMILAR STRETCHERS!
THEY DID A GOOD JOB OF HELPING ME, BUT WERE UNABLE TO DO THE REQUISITE SURGERY. SO, ON THE SUNDAY, I WAS MOVED TO THE PRINCESS GRACE, WHERE A FANTASTICALLY EFFICIENT, KIND AND AMUSING STAFF DID ALL THE JOBS.
I AM NOW IN A LOVELY ROOM, NUMBER 222, AND WITH THE HELP OF ELLIOT AND THE PORTER, AM FINALLY ON THE EMAIL. THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT I WILL BE ABLE TO ACTUALLY SEND THIS TO YOU, BUT I WILL TRY!
NOW FOR THE FUTURE… WHICH I CAN SEE WITH SUSIE, HELEN AND ELLIOT AROUND ME, IS GOING TO BE A BLOODY STRUGGLE!
AS SOME OF YOU MAY KNOW, SUSIE AND I ARE BOOKED ON A SEABOURN CRUISE FOR OUR 30TH ANNIVERSARY, NEXT MONTH. I HAVE TO CROSS THE HURDLE OF GETTING THE DOCORS, AND FAMLY HANGERS-ON, TO ALLOW ME TO THIN MY BLOOD, IN ORDER TO AVOID ANY ISSUES INVOLVING DEEP VEIN THROMBOSIS.
IT WILL BE SIX TO EIGHT WEEKS FROM SUNDAY BEFORE I WILL ABLE TO PUT ANY LOAD ON MY FEET. THEREFORE I’M FACING MY SIXTH OR SEVENTH REDUCTION TO A WHEELCHAIR (SUSIE SAYS SHE’S STOPPED COUNTING) WHICH I MUST ADMIT, IS RATHER BORING. THE GOOD NEWS IS; THAT I DIDN’T SELL THE WHEELCHAIR AFTER THE LAST SHUNT!
THE WHOLE THING IS A REAL PAIN IN THE ARSE, IF I HAD LOOKED WHERE I WAS GOING, I WOULDN’T BE HERE AT ALL, SO IT’S MY OWN DAMN FAULT.
I HAVE BEEN ABSOLUTELY OVERWHELMED BY YOUR COLLECTIVE CONCERN AND KINDNESS.
I CAN TELL YOU THAT CURRENTLY I’M LYING IN HOSPITAL, TAKING DEEP BREATHS, LIFTING ONE ARM WITH THE OTHER, RAISING MY LEGS (WITH PLASTERS ON THE END) AND DOING ALL I CAN DO TO KEEP MYSELF AS MOBILE AS POSSIBLE, BUT, HAVING SAID THAT, I’M NOT YET WINNING THE BATTLE.
I’M NOT SURE WHEN I’LL BE ABLE TO GO HOME BUT THE LIFT HAS TO WORK, OTHERWISE I’LL NEVER BE ABLE TO GET UPSTAIRS IN MY WHEELCHAIR, MAYBE I’LL GO AND STAY WITH HELEN AND ELLIOT FOR A WHILE…
THIS REALLY HAS OPENED MY EYES TO HOW KIND ALL MY FRIENDS ARE, OVER AN OLD EX-RACING DRIVER, FLOGGING A FADING IMAGE!
I LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU SOON,
MANY THANKS FOR ALL OF YOUR THOUGHTS,
Stirling, we can’t wait to see you back out at the races! It’s because of legends like you that we still believe in heros.