Bradley Wiggins, Britain’s First Mod Sporting Hero

Hallelujah! Olympic Gold medal winner – not to mention the first ever British winner of the Tour de France – is a mod. While sharp suits and sheepskin might not be practical for hairpin turns, Bradley Wiggins’ side-burns signal his musical tastes. In an interview with Cycle Sport, Wiggins listed his top ten tracks. They included two Jam tracks, as well as indie rock staples such as The Stone Roses, The Smiths, and Oasis.

In the interview – which he did back in 2009 – Wiggins also mentioned his top five guitarists, naming The Who’s Pete Townshend as his favourite, with Ocean Colour Scene’s Steve Cradock coming a close second. The champion cyclist is an avid guitar collector, telling the magazine:

“I’ve probably got about 12 or 13 guitars at the moment, but I haven’t got enough space for them, so a few of them are out on permanent loan. I just spend ridiculous amounts of money on guitars, it’s the one real indulgence I have – that and clothes. I really got into vintage guitars, and to be honest right now it’s probably safer than keeping your money in a bank. They never decrease in value.

If there was a fire in my house and I could only save one, I know exactly which one it would be. I’ve got a Gibson ES-335 in ebony black with a Bigsby which is 20 years old and in mint condition. I kind of love that guitar. Those 335 Gibsons are my favourites – mine’s my pride and joy.”


Wiggins was doubtlessly delighted to have received a tweet of congratulations from the Modfather himself upon winning the Tour de France. Paul Weller tweeted: “Congratulations to @bradwiggins on winning the @letour from all at Paul Weller HQ. What an amazing achievement! #tdf #allezwiggo.”

Wiggins has more than a passing interest in mod culture. He owns several vintage scooters, and also collaborated with Fred Perry on a line of sportswear. His top ten tracks include Oasis, but also Jam B-sides like ‘The Butterfly Collector’, and cuts by Small Faces. Wiggins’ interest in indie rock is not unique in the world of sport – lest we forget, not only did Man United footballer Wayne Rooney pay the Stereophonics to perform a set at his wedding, he also got the title of their 2001 album ‘Just Enough Education to Perform’ tattooed on his arm.

But it is rare to come across a sportsman with such a genuine dedication to a music subculture such as mod. A sporting hero, and someone you’d trust with the pub jukebox? Bradley Wiggins, we salute you.

Bradley Wiggins’ Top Ten Tracks

The Stone Roses – ‘Don’t Stop’
The Smiths – ‘This Charming Man’
Oasis -‘Supersonic’
Ocean Colour Scene – ‘Riverboat Song’
Paul Weller – ‘Changing Man’
Oasis – ‘Wonderwall’
The Jam – ‘In the City’
The Jam – ‘The Butterfly Collector’
Small Faces – ‘Happy Days- Toytown’
The Who – ‘Heatwave’