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Origin great Billy Moore on his life-changing injury

Billy Moore

People

Origin great Billy Moore on his life-changing injury

Former rugby league player Billy Moore was thrilled with the Maroons’ Origin II win, saying it brought back memories of his 1995 series. He now lives at Alexandra Headland, is co-owner of Mooloolaba restaurant Augello’s and a TV and radio sports commentator.

First job? Picking fruit in Stanthorpe when I was 13. I had to work there in the Christmas holidays.

What are you currently working on? I have a half share in Augello’s in Mooloolaba, I do media work for Fox Sports NRL 360, and I’m on ABC Radio for the Broncos.

Your family includes. . . My wife and two sons, Jeb 11 and Ash, eight.

First car? Diahatsu Charade turbo, 900 cc. It was a car with turbo that didn’t go fast, it was all show.

What are you reading? Shantaram, it’s the biggest book I’ve ever read in my life, I’m up to about page 400.

Favourite song? I’m a Bruce Springsteen junkie.He’s a poet of the people, he just seems to have been someone who has had the longevity for 30 or 40 years. I was afraid to go to his concert a few years ago in Brisbane because I thought he might not live up to my expectations, which had been simmering since I was 14. He didn’t disappoint.

Best advice you’ve been given? In the face of adversity there’s always some good if you have the courage and determination to find it. Pat Jarvis told me that when I was laying in Brookvale Oval holding my jaw together – I had a triple jaw fracture. He sat beside me and said those words. My jaw was wired shut for 14 weeks, but it was the best thing that ever happened to me because I worked out I wanted to play ruby league more than anything. I came back bigger, fitter and stronger.

What is your favourite place on the Sunshine Coast? Alex Beach. It’s as good a beach as I’ve ever seen, it has a bit of a surf break, you can meander your way down the beach to Maroochy, you’re right in the heart of it but you feel a million miles away.

If you could change one thing on the Coast, what would it be? Upgrade our infrastructure with a click of my fingers so we’re modernised. Upgrade roads, traffic flow, parking. We’re going through natural growth pains. We need to package it up so it’s easier to live here, easier to get about and for visitors to do their business.

Best day in your life? My marriage/birth of my children. And winning the 1995 State of Origin series. It was the most underdog team ever for Queensland, nine rookies and a rookie coach, Paul Vautin. We picked a bunch of nobodies – it was the greatest example of a star team versus a team of stars. It was an amazing experience and the best team I’ve ever been in, in terms of doing the unthinkable. Not only did we win, we won the series 3–0.

Your greatest regret? My club, the North Sydney Bears going into liquidation and they now don’t exist in the NRL. I played for them for 11 years. They finished at the end of ‘99 and I retired the next day at 28.

What achievement are you most proud of? Transitioning out of rugby league to do something else in life. A lot of sportspeople have a lot of trouble, I’m still trying to be the best I can be, when you’re young you have one dream. It’s difficult to find something else that captivates you.

You are happiest when? I’m around my family and we’re relaxed in our house, sitting on my rocking chair having a cup of tea and reading a book.

What frustrates you the most? Indecision, in myself and those around me. I’m a Taurus, I love to be planned, love to have a bit of structure and know where I’m heading.

If you could tell your 18-year-old self anything, what would it be? Same thing my mother told me: take life one step at a time.

Tea or coffee? Tea, never had a coffee in my life. I’m a green tea freak. I used to make my mother and father International Roast and it never used to smell very good.

NRL or AFL? NRL – I go for anyone but Manly. I appreciate all sports, I appreciate athleticism.

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