A Monkey's Revenge - My Blog

Sinner to Saint

This week I met an inspirational chap- Former gang member Samu Manoa. Normally I'd be especially daunted by a meeting with a former member of a San Francisco gang- but despite his large and rather intiimidating presence, Samu Manoa is a real nice guy. Very sensible, very laid back and truly somebody who has put his dodgy past behind him and shows to us all how it doesn't matter where you come from-you CAN make a difference on this planet by being true to yourself and your family and good at what you do.

Samu is now a player for the Northampton 'Saints' rugby team. They play at Twickenham today versus another local team to me-the Leicester Tigers. So I'm kinda torn between the two, especially as I also photographed Matthew Tait for The Telegraph this week and he is a 'Tigers' team member. May the best team on the day win- they both have my maximum respect!

For the photo of Samu, I had to wait until the press photocall was over and then head over to the changing room where I had already set up the photo I hoped to get. Just goes to show how not everything can be pre-planned- as we walked into the changing room we were met by a group of schoolkids. After they had finished their session and met their hero we had a couple of minutes to get a pic....the result is as seen here.  Many thanks to Samu for whipping off his top and also for patiently waiting for the schoolkids. I've worked with lots of stars and lots of sporting stars- he was an example of how it should be done. Humble, and happy to help get something different rather than the often full of their own importance and in too much of a hurry to be bothered. I don't have a 'lucky hat' like Samu's. But if I did-I'd take it off in deference to him!

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