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The Two of Us - Gavin and Scott Hastings - Rugby stars turned boardroom brothers

Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Category: Sunday Times

Gavin Hastings, 45, lives in Edinburgh with his wife Diane and their children Adam, 10 and Holly, 8. He is Chairman of Platinum One, a sports marketing and hospitality agency.

My memories of Scott when we were young are pretty hazy but I do have lots of memories of the four of us being taken out for lots of long walks, holidaying up north and because we were four boys, playing sport pretty much non-stop.

When Wimbledon was on we played tennis, when it was The Open the golf clubs were out and when the World cup was on we were in the back garden for hours on end. We must have eaten my Mother out of house and home.

I think it would be fair to describe us as a sporty family: my father played rugby and is still a great golfer but I would say it’s my Mother we get our tenacity from; she played a lot of hockey and golf. She’s a determined and strong woman and I think her influence rubbed off on us a lot.

I would never say that I’d been friendly with any of my brothers when I was growing up; that would be stretching things a bit. We just co-existed. We shared a room early on but then were lucky enough to have a room each and that allowed us to have our own space. We were two years apart at school and so we had our own friends. I do remember Scott coming into my room a lot and messing up a pile of beer mats I had and my poor Father having to smooth things over between us. When he was as big as me he’d try and have a go at me but my tactics were to keep out of the way.

He was always boisterous and a bit of a troublemaker. All you need to know about him as a child is that he let a rocket off in the kitchen when he was about 10 and we were all ducking for cover as this thing careered round the kitchen, bouncing off the walls. My Mother says that if she walked down the road with the four of us and stopped to talk to someone, Graeme, the eldest brother would wander off, Ewan the youngest would hang around, I’d stand still and not move and Scott before very long would be in the middle of the road.

It wasn’t really until we started playing rugby together that we became friends. I don’t recall having any great ambition at a young age, it was just a gradual realisation that if I kept going eventually I’d be able to play for my country. I was aware that Scott was talented and that in a matter of time he’d maybe get the chance too.

The day we both played our first cap for Scotland was truly wonderful, not just because I shared it with Scott, but because I managed to do my job pretty well that day which was a source of great satisfaction. I was very happy for all my brothers and my Mum and Dad, they must have been very proud. My parents travelled far and wide to watch us both play - four years in succession to Australia and New Zealand.
Not only did Scott and I play our first cap together against France but remarkably 8 years later we played against France at Murrayfield again and won our 50th caps together. When you think of missed games due to injury that we each had at different times, the chances of that happening are very slim.

I never felt like we were in competition with one another because we played in different positions and always had a common aim. Rather it was great to have a brother to share all these experiences with; it was the cementing of our relationship. We both share a love of Scotland and pride in Scotland. Having travelled all over the world we both appreciate what a great place it is and so and it was a natural progression when a few years down the line we decided to work together to try to promote the country and its people.

It’s never felt to me like a big brother/little brother relationship. We’ve worked together now for seven years and in all that time I think we’ve given one another an ear bashing only half a dozen times. It happens so infrequently that when it does happen we know it must be deserved. I’ve always respected him. I’m not a confrontational person, if something has to be said it’s said and then we move on, neither of us huffs or bears a grudge.

Because we see each other every day we tend not to socialise regularly with one another, we have our own friends and the challenges that having children bring, but I think that’s healthy, neither of us wants to live in the other’s pocket.

Of course he’s not perfect- I shared a room with him in the summer and I’d forgotten how bad his snoring is; I lasted about four hours before I had to get up and go into another room.

I admire a lot of his qualities, and would say he has a great capacity to light up a room. He’s a very positive person and I’d like to think I am too. We’re also both gregarious and love talking to people. He’s great company and always up for a bit of fun but Scott is probably more outgoing than me and certainly has the capacity to let himself go a bit more than I do. I tend to go to more functions than Scott and so when he does go out he really enjoys himself.

In many ways he’s a big softie –he’s always happy to cuddle up to his family and is very understanding of them and their needs. We’re both great family men and our families are very important to us. I’d describe him as an all round good guy and having played rugby and now worked with him in such close quarters, we don’t need to say a lot to one another, we have an understanding of what the other is thinking; we’re a bit like an old married couple.

Scott Hastings

Scott Hastings is married to Jenny and they live in Edinburgh with their children Corey, 14 and Kerry-Anne, 10. Scot is a director of sports marketing and hospitality agency Platinum One

The Hastings house was always incredibly busy when we were growing up, there was always something happening. If we weren’t outside playing on our bikes, or swinging a golf club, or kicking rugby ball around we were in the games room we had playing darts, table tennis or snooker. We were all pretty obsessed with sport.

With four boys it was boisterous and there were always scuffles breaking out. I fought the most with Gavin because all big brothers are bossy and Gavin was no exception. He was always a leader and we’ve always been competitive with one another. My dad had to break us up- there would be bleeding noses, the works, but you very quickly grow out of that stage and decide it’s all a bit pointless.

Even though it was a big family we were fortunate enough to live in a big house with a great big kitchen where we spent a lot of time but there was enough space for us to have our own privacy and that made us all quite independent of one another.

My main memory of Gavin was of him being very conscientious. He was hard working at school and always very focussed- if he had a project to do he’d focus on it 100% until it was finished. If he took up a new sport he’d dedicate himself to it until he got good. He was always trying to lower his golf handicap and trying to improve his kicking. I think it was himself he was in competition with rather than anyone else and at the end of the day those qualities shone through; he always tried to lead by example.

Following in Graeme and Gavin’s footsteps on the rugby pitch always worked to my advantage. When I went for trials and said my name was Hastings, it helped. I was conscious of the fact that above me were two brothers who were exceeding and that made me want to follow suit. When I went to my first Edinburgh Schools under 15 trial I wasn’t selected which spurred me on.

We both went for a trial for Scotland at the same time and when the news came through a few days later that we’d both been selected it was just phenomenal. The press went crazy and of course it was in the days when everyone was an amateur, so we had a great celebration in the pub that night.

Our rugby days were when our friendship really kicked in. We shared so many experiences not just playing for Scotland but touring with the British lions together. We both played in the backs and talked a lot about how we could improve our game. Funnily enough despite all that time we spent together I would say it’s only in recent years that we’ve opened up emotionally to one another and that has taken our friendship to another level.

We’re a natural fit; we complement one another. I’ve worked with Gavin for 7 years now and we’re both ambitious to see the company do well. I think we both know that we bring different things to the party and we work to our strengths.

I hope that there’s an element of fun working with us. We both hugely enjoy our job. Gavin has a very dry sense of humour and although I tend to be more jovial than him, he does have his moments and occasionally a more colourful character appears when he lets himself go and we call him Andrew Hastings- that’s his real first name.

We’re both good with people although Gavin can be abrupt at times and isn’t afraid to ruffle a few feathers. I’m more sensitive than he is and looking back, I sometimes wish I’d been a bit harder in certain situations. I express my feelings easily and would happily give another guy a great big hug. Gavin probably feels the same but would maybe find it harder to show that.

In terms of the business I’m more methodical than he is and more interested in the detail of things than he is, I prepare meticulously which he doesn’t do. In cricketing terms – he’s the batsman and I do the scoring. He’s more gung-ho than me but maybe that’s a good thing.

There aren’t too many things that annoy me about him, there are far more things that I like about him: he has a great ability to engage with people on all levels and has a good circle of friends. We do have a go at each other occasionally, but then it would be abnormal if we didn’t.

I would describe Gavin as a passionate man. He’s passionate about his family, his business and there’s no-one I know who is more passionate about Scotland. In many ways he wears his heart on his sleeve and is a great ambassador for this country. He’s a bit of an iconic figure.

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