Now then, why am I writing about an Auctioneer on a rugby website you may well ask; take a look at Daisy’s surname and you may twig that the wife part of her persona sees her married to non other than Charlie Hodgson.
I was lucky enough to meet Daisy at the pre-season Barbecue at Allianz Park in 2013, at that time she and Charlie were accompanied by their 3 lovely children Henry, Anastasia and Jack. And as is the way on an informal day at Saracens they looked like any other young couple out for an afternoon.
I had quite a chat with Daisy and found her to be very warm and incredibly calm for a mother of 3 young children. News came through during this season that Daisy and Charlie were expecting twins, and again bumping into Daisy after a game, she was totally calm and excited about adding to the family.
It struck me that it would be very interesting to know what it’s been like being the other half/wife of one of the best fly halves we’ve had in England in recent years. Charlie has shown his innate skill week after week since he’s been a Saracens man.
Freddie and Sam came into the world on March 23rd 2015, I suggested to Daisy that maybe we should wait a few months to meet up, but she was happy to meet sooner. A mere 4 weeks after the boys were born I travelled to Chez Hodgson, a stunning Daisy answered the door, dressed in jeans and looking as calm and serene as always.
Jack 3 was at home with his baby brothers and had been baking! That meant yummy home made cookies straight from the oven with a cup of tea. I can’t manage to bake and I have no young children to look after! To my delight I was able to have a cuddle with the babies before we got down to chatting.
Daisy comes from a big family, she’s the 5th of 8 children, her own Mum has 17 Grandchildren. The family have a business in Ilkley – Hartley’s Auctions, as the name suggests, an Auction House.
Daisy and Charlie met at school; Bradford Grammar School took girl into their 6th Form and so a bond was formed. That bond stayed strong as Daisy took off for University in Southampton; her degree was in Fine Art Valuation – she achieved a 2:1. Keeping the relationship going meant a 5 hour train journey, often Charlie would be heading off to a game as his star was rising.
Daisy went to work in the family business as an Auctioneer and Valuer, she continued studying and became the youngest Chartered Surveyor at 24, having studied for 4 years the chattels side of things. Next up on the studying front was Gemmology – another 2 years giving Daisy the wherewithal to identify Gems and Jewellery.
Daisy and Charlie married in 2007, living in Colne, halfway between Sale and Ilkley and their respective work places. When talking about Sale it was clear that it was very much a workplace for Charlie, and not a place Daisy was overly involved in. Charlie became an England player early in his career and Daisy recalled a funny conversation she had at a running club she was a part of when she gave her opinion on a game. They hadn’t realised her other half was actually involved in the match!
Motherhood started with the arrival of Henry in 2008, I reckon he’s a name to keep a look out for, Daisy explains that he seems to have the same innate skill as his Dad! Anastasia came along in 2009; as we were chatting about the children Daisy threw in an amazing fact – she had a hip replacement in 2010! Having had difficulties for years and a hip that was pinned she went for a replacement, this left her with 2 young children, on crutches and unable to sit in a normal chair for 6 weeks. I somehow know this wouldn’t have phased Daisy!
Charlie left Sale in 2011 to join Saracens having been a one club man for the whole of his career. We spoke about the time at Sale; Daisy really hadn’t been a big part of Charlie’s rugby life, games were often on a Friday evening making it hard to attend with young children.
That was all to change when Saracens came into the family’s life – having been lucky enough to see behind the scenes at the club it’s clear that they understand that families are important to their players; if you like they look at their people as couples and make sure everyone is happy.
In common with the Hodgson family a lot of the players and their wives/girlfriends are a long way from home, a long way from family support. There are coffee mornings for the girls twice a week and a twice weekly fitness class at Old Albanians. Family support is key when you have young children in particular, there are things you just have to do without kids in tow, Saracens have a childcare available 2 or 3 mornings a week at the training ground.
The wives and girlfriends know each other, that’s plain to see at games when many of them are out on the pitch after the 80 minutes with children careering around.
Daisy continued with her work when she moved south, contacting a local auction house, Sworders, she’d met the owner previously, he offered her a couple of days a week. As Daisy explained it’s important to keep up with the latest legislation and trends when it comes to her professional world.
Jack – he of the delicious cookies came along in 2012 taking the family to 5. Daisy’s next pregnancy was to deliver a delightful surprise in the shape of 2 babies! Both Daisy and Charlie said they were ‘wowed’ when they saw 2 babies on the screen at an early scan! They thought the scan from the previous couple was still up!
But no, in spite of no history of twins it was their scan and so Freddie and Sam arrived; Daisy worked up to 30 weeks carrying twins and looking after 3 other children! She explained that 3 children leads to an element of chaos and that another 2 just slip in. She has help with the school run for the moment but other than that trundles around in the huge van she drives and gets on with the job of being a mum.
For a while being a mum is going to be a hugely important ‘job’ for Daisy. Several times during our chat she told me how people over the years have told her how lucky she is to be with/married to Charlie a professional rugby player. From what I already knew and even more so now, I can honestly say that Charlie is very lucky to be married to this remarkable young woman.