When John Brain fell asleep at the bar in Connacht, the lads were giving him stick it was because he could not handle his couple of pints.
It was nothing of the sort of course – Gloucester’s rugby operations manager and scrum coach was just massively relieved.
Relieved that Gloucester had secured their first away win in a good while, and just relieved to be back on track.
All the extra hours scrutinising opposition DVDs and analysing teams we would be coming up against, all the time spent on the training field or even planning for it, that weekend, it all paid off.
Brainer was so relieved he relaxed a little and dozed off, as the week caught up with him.
That anecdote sums up John’s passion for and commitment to Gloucester as far as I am concerned.
The world legend is often overused, but in John’s case no other term will do justice to the enormous service he gave Gloucester, as a player first of all, then in two different coaching stints with the club.
His impact since his Gloucester return in 2010 has been huge.
He loved Gloucester a great deal, and he would basically do anything for the club.
And he showed that time and again.
Already he is missed massively, and that feeling is probably only going to increase as time moves on.
It was a privilege to know John though, and an honour to have worked with him.
John represented Gloucester and myself at my recent disciplinary after being sent off at London Irish.
If it weren’t for his professionalism, calmness and authority, I am sure I would have been handed a far heavier ban than the seven weeks I received.
I could never have thanked him enough for how he helped me that day.
And over the years I am sure there are hundreds of people at Gloucester and beyond in rugby who can say something similar about John.
As I said, we’re already missing him hugely at Gloucester but that won’t be a patch on how his family are feeling.
Our sincerest condolences go out to the Brain family for their loss.
Rest in peace John, God bless.
Other tributes to John Brain: