In an exclusive chat with former England captain and World Cup winner, Mike Tindall, we get a glimpse into his life beyond rugby. The accomplished athlete is also a successful business owner, a doting dad, and one-third of the wildly popular podcast, The Good, The Bad and The Rugby. Now, Tindall is stepping into the world of spirits with his latest venture, Blackeye Gin, a premium spirit (with rare ingredients) that has been created to raise valuable funds for injured rugby players – a cause Mike is passionate about. In this blog, we explore the inspiration behind the gin, the causes it supports, and what's next for Mike Tindall.
Tell us about Blackeye Gin, Mike.
I wish I could tell you it was inspired by my love for artisanal botanicals, and a lifelong dream to distil gin drop by drop. The reality is that on one of our podcast episodes, we drank far too much gin and had far too much fun and our audience suggested we make our own.
Why the name Blackeye?
Predominantly, it’s come from the last five years of the podcast I do with my old teammate James Haskell and presenter Alex Payne. We’ve had various scrapes and battles along the way and have decided to name a gin that reflects that sometimes you give them, and sometimes you get them. We’re still standing and have had a lot of fun along the way!
What are the causes you are raising for?
Well, rugby is having a tough time at the moment. There are real challenges on and off the field, and we’re keen to help - we’re looking to raise £1m in the next three and a half years. We’ll be splitting the money raised across three pots; to fund research, risk, and recovery for players past and present. And all done through rugby fans enjoying an award-winning gin!
What’s next in your diary?
Well, the World Cup is fast approaching, which will be a busy time for the three of us, as we’ll be following the tournament in France with the podcast. England has got work to do, but there’s something emerging under Steve Borthwick. France and Ireland hold all the cards right now, but we’ve never had a line-up with so many contenders. The tournament promises to be an extraordinary festival of colour and passion. Once it’s over, we’re taking our own chaos and colour on a nationwide tour with The Good, The Bad and The Rugby; 17 dates across the country celebrating the best of the game. And drinking some Blackeye Gin as we go.