Rod Stewart often recounts a piece of advice from his dad: “To be properly contented, a man needs three things: a job, a sport, and a hobby. So in my case, my job is singer, my sport is football and my hobby is model railroading.”
Leaving aside the slightly dubious pursuit of model railways, Stewart has always been mad about football. He had trials with the London club Brentford in his teens and was still playing twice a week well into his mid 60s. But his passion for the game also extends to being a huge Celtic and Scotland supporter. On a recent episode of The Harry Redknapp Show podcast, the pop superstar talked about getting involved in a pitch invasion after Scotland beat England that resulted in him having his watch stolen clean off his wrist.
On the podcast, Stewart mentioned going to watch the match at Wembley with his dad. Redknapp’s co-host, Dodge, asked him: “Rod please tell me, is it true you were caught running on the pitch for the England-Scotland game back in 1977?”
“Yes, absolutely,” Stewart replied.
After Scotland triumphed over the Auld Enemy by a 2-1 scoreline, fans swarmed the pitch to celebrate the shock win. “A pitch invasion happened,” Stewart recalled. “I asked my dad and he said: ‘Don’t you dare’.”
“I said, ‘Dad, come on’, so we all went. But he stayed in his seat.
“I went down the front and had a hat on, and the coppers tried to stop me from getting on the pitch.”
Stewart continued: “So I took my hat off and they went, ‘Oh it’s you, is it’, so they let me go on the pitch.
“All the supporters got me on their shoulders and lifted me up.”
Unfortunately, while he was being carried around the stadium by delirious fans, Stewart was too caught up in the celebrations to keep a close eye on his possessions.
“I got my Cartier watch stolen,” Stewart admitted.
Fortunately there was a happy ending as Stewart was ultimately reunited with his watch. “It turned up in Edinburgh about two months later.”
Stewart has always had a soft sport for a Cartier. He’s been spotted wearing a range of their models over the years and seems to have a particular weakness for the Cartier Tank Francasie and Cartier Santos. Somehow the brand feels like a good fit, too. The angularity of Cartier’s square cases with their linear Roman numerals seems to complement the singer’s tall frame and sharp features.
Stewart, however, is prepared to part with one of his beloved watches for a good cause. Last year, the singer was interviewed on The Chris Evans Breakfast Show on Virgin Radio in the UK. Discovering that the radio DJ was raising money for the NHS with a charity auction, Stewart duly donated the Cartier Santos he’d had since his early days with his wife Penny Lancaster.
”I bought that when I met Penny back in the day when I was on holiday in the south of France,” Stewart recounted. “It’s a beauty, it’s a men’s watch, it’s a summer watch, it’s white. And everybody has seen it because I wear it so much on stage.”
That Cartier Santos, which Stewart bought in Nice in 2003, eventually sold at the charity auction for 17,250 pounds.