BY STAFF WRITERS
Outgoing Parramatta Eels cult hero Manu Ma’u’s story from prison life to role model has been told many times but the fearsome second rower has revealed that it was the advice given to him while in jail that helped see him become the player and man he is today.
Writing for the Player’s Voice website, Ma’u says the talent was always there.
“I had other inmates coming and telling me ‘you shouldn’t be in here,” Ma’u said.
“We’d play touch and footy in the prison yard. How can I put this without sounding cocky? I was really good. Some of the older boys pulled me to the side and said, ‘you’re out of place, you shouldn’t be here, you should be out there playing footy.’
“These are people who wouldn’t see freedom for a long time. Lifers, bad people going on their crimes. And they were telling me they didn’t want to see me back in there. Try and make something of it.”
Ma’u plays his last regular season NRL match this weekend for the Eels.