In spite of all this is and always has been a ‘regular guy’ even still holding down his original job as a plasterer in the West Country, and it’s a characteristic that gives him a huge connection with any audience.
What Eddie did at the 1998 Calgary Winter Olympics remains breathtaking in its sheer audacity.
With a complete lack of experience, things did not run smoothly. With virtually no financial backing and no ski jump facilities in Britain, Eddie borrowed his mum’s car and travelled around Europe to qualify for the Olympics.
Penniless, he had to take up a variety of part-time jobs, including babysitting, cutting grass, working in hotels and cooking. In Finland, he famously ended up staying in a mental health hospital paying only a pound a night. However, it was there that he would discover that he had made the Olympic team.
On another occasion, he broke his jaw and could not afford the medical fees, he simply tied it up himself with a pillowcase and carried on regardless.
Never mind that he finished so far behind the other competitors, the fact he landed on his feet means his jump remains a strong candidate for the bravest single act by a Briton in sporting history.
The media world lit up and on his return (Via the Johnny Carson Show) Heathrow airport was positively swarming with press and fans. Twenty police officers helped him through the mass of as many as 10,000 people.
His story was made into a feature film in 2016 featuring Hugh Jackman.