there's a well known saying that you should never meet your heroes.
so it was with a little trepidation that i drove to manchester on wednesday evening.
i had a shoot lined up on thursday morning with a big, big hero of mine.
a national newspaper commissioned me earlier in the week to take some shots of
"a young, up and coming welsh footballer" but they didn't tell me his name.
it was a day or two later that i found out that the player in question was...
ryan giggs !
the shoot was to be done at the carrington, manchester united's training ground.
it was arranged for 11am... i arrived at 9.30am ( i was that keen )
unfortunately, as expected, the timings were pushed back and i was told to expect
him to turn up at 1pm.
it gave me lots of time to worry about what he'd be like. imagine if he was unfriendly
or maybe aloof, uncooperative even... i'd have been so gutted.
luckily enough he was absolutely spot-on. i had less than 5 minutes to do my shots
but seeing as i'd been there for almost 4 hours i had everything set-up and ready
so it all went smoothly.
so it all went smoothly.
we had a good laugh during the brief time i was shooting and then afterwards i
sat in the changing room as he was interviewed. he even mentioned me to one of
the journalists when he was asked about not making the world cup finals with wales.
telling him that the photographer was welsh too.
i could rabbit on all day about my brief time spent in the company of one of my heroes,
but it's probably best if i just show you a few photos...
i recognise that pose...
in the changing room
and again after i told him that nobody wears reebok trainers
you may have noticed that i had to get the ball and the sponsor's logo in all the shots
though i did a quick head and shoulders portrait too...
here's a sneaky frame i fired off resting my leica on my knee while the observer
and the mail on sunday asked some questions...
i think the lady on the left was from manchester united, just to make sure they didn't
ask anything inappropriate.
though i can't believe she let them get away with the question of
wales not qualifying for the world cup finals... that hurt !
when it was all over, ryan insisted on having his photo taken with me...
look how happy he is to be photographed next to me
i wasn't really bothered about being photographed with him
but i didn't want to deny him the opportunity.
in all seriousness, sometimes meeting your hero can be a good thing.
i had a great day and i've got to say, ryan giggs... top man.
( a special thank-you to malcolm and jack for making this happen. i owe you )