Hall Charlton’s playing career at Newcastle Falcons spanned three decades and he enjoyed both playing with and against some of the greats of the game during that time. We chatted to Hall about his career, life after sport and why nobody is worth losing sleep over!
Hi Hall, can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into professional rugby?
I was born in Durham on a family farm and I have now come full circle and moved back to the farm after living in Newcastle for the last 19 years. I started playing rugby at the age of 6 and ended up getting into the Newcastle falcons academy when I left school at 18.
I went to Newcastle University and gained a degree in agriculture at the same time as picking up a professional contract in my third year at university. My first game in the Premiership was in 1998 against West Hartlepool.
What was it that told you it was the right time to end your playing career and what would you say have been your career highlights?
It was out of my hands really. I kept tearing my hamstring quite badly during the 2011 season. However, if that hadn’t happened I think I would have only played for maybe one more season anyway, as my body was telling me it was time to give it up! My highlights are wining the 2001 and 2004-cup finals at Twickenham and also scoring a last second try against Leeds in the 2003 season, which allowed us to secure premiership status for the following year.
How would you describe your rugby career?
How would your rugby teammates describe you?
I’m not too sure I want to think about that one too hard as I could get called all sorts of things. But I would say loyal, committed and a little bit weird might be in there somewhere!
What kind of training regime did you follow day-to-day?
It was generally 1 or 2 gym sessions a day plus rugby training. Day off was mid-week with a game at weekend followed by a recovery training session the day after the game.
Can you tell us a bit about where your career has taken you now?
After rugby I coached for 3 years at Blaydon Rugby Club in the National 1 division and I did scrum half coaching at Newcastle Falcons. However, I felt it just wasn’t right for me going forward so I turned back to my farming roots and decided to train as an Agronomist which took 15 months with a company called Pro Cam.
I have been there nearly two years now and love every bit of it. Plus when we have our office meetings the general banter is very similar to a rugby changing room which is something every ex-player misses.
Mammoth mattresses are known for their health benefits, particularly for people recovering from injury or looking to make performance gains. How important do you consider rest time and recovery for both the body and mind?
Until I got my Mammoth, my sleep hadn’t been too good for the last couple of years. Since I’ve changed to Mammoth’s Medical Grade Foam mattress, however, I have seen a huge difference. You can feel it from the moment you open your eyes in the morning.
If you haven’t had a quality night’s sleep then your whole day can be two steps behind before you have even started. I honestly wake up with less aches and pains and really look forward to getting into bed knowing I’m going to be getting a good night’s sleep now.
Have you suffered any injuries during your career? If so, do any of them still hinder you today?
I have suffered quite a few over my playing career but it has been after I finished playing that things got a bit worse. My hips started to get arthritis in them to the point I had to have a hip resurface in September 2016 and that is when I bought the Mammoth mattress.
The promise of greater pressure relief and the right kind of postural support was important to me, as there is nothing worse than experiencing serious discomfort that disrupts sleep.
How many hours of sleep do you aim for a night? How do you feel when you don’t get a full night’s sleep – are you good at handling fatigue?
I aim for 8 hours of sleep a night but that can be limited depending how the kids sleep and what time I need to get up for work. I can manage ok on 6 hours but any less and I don’t think I would be too productive.
As you have travelled to a lot to competitions in your sport, what do you consider to be a must-have to ensure a good night’s sleep away from home, and do you have an optimum environment to sleep in –g. warm and cosy, cool and clean?
The room needs to be cool and well ventilated plus taking your own pillow away with you always helps. Ear plugs are handy if you share with a snorer plus it can stop you getting woken up by the drunken hotel corridor walker.
How did you find out about Mammoth mattresses and what attracted you to the brand in the first place?
I had seen the Mammoth brand advertised on the RPA website and also spoken to a few players about them. Having bought a superking Performance Sky 270 and experienced the benefits of good quality sleep, I just wish I had bought one sooner. My nights sleep are the best I have had for years and I can genuinely say I wake up knowing I have had a good night’s sleep. Plus, I don’t wake up with a sore stiff back any more.
If you could have a (purely platonic) late night chat with anyone, dead or alive, who’d be worth losing sleep over – and why?
Not sure anyone is worth losing sleep over couldn’t it wait until the morning!!
Hall Charlton bought his Mammoth Performance Sky 270 from Newbridge Street Bedding Centre.