Head to Head: Micheal Ward x Rhian Brewster

Photography: Giacomo Lacchini / Words: Tom Everest

GAFFER’s new and exclusive video series – Head to Head – bridges the gap between the world’s finest footballers and renowned cultural leaders by inviting them to share stories, experiences and partake in challenges as well as giving them the opportunity to find out the answers to the questions they’ve always wanted to ask. 

To kick off the series, GAFFER put two of the UK’s brightest stars and long-term friends – BAFTA-award winning actor Micheal Ward & Liverpool FC’s Rhian Brewster – Head to Head to delve a little deeper into their unique friendship and to find out more about their first memories, long-term dreams and sentimental stories.

The first time they met

Micheal: Rhian ain’t even going to remember the first time we met because he was in Year 7. I was in Year 9. Obviously Rhian was the golden boy before he made it to the school. Everyone wanted to know who this Chelsea footballer was. Some of the mandem already knew who he was. I wanted to have my own look and see what he was about. We got introduced and I said if he ever needed protection we got him.

One of my earliest memories of Rhian playing football was around that time too. In our school, there were six different forms and although we were in different year groups we were in the same form. We had our own little end of year tournament, our own proper indoor football tournament. This guy, fam, does a bicycle kick inside for no reason. That’s what he used to do! Every game we used to go and watch him play, my man would do bicycle kicks from the half-way line just to prove that  he’s ‘Rhian Brewster!’

What they consider to be each other’s greatest strengths

Michael: His striking ability! I can see Rhian as being one of the best footballers to ever walk that planet if he keeps putting the work in. Which he will because that’s why I’m here, to make sure he does!

Rhian: I’d say Micheal’s is that he knows what he wants. He’s headstrong, he’s focussed. I know from when we were younger to where we are now, for him going on all these auditions and seeing him on Top Boy and Blue Story – and for what he’s going to go on and become – it’s been one journey. I know he’s been incredibly focussed to get there. He always knew he was going to get there because he’s headstrong. 

Micheal: 100%. You have to have that mentality, it goes a long way. Anyone watching this trust me. No joke.

What they have learned from each other…

Micheal: From Rhian I’ve learned that you can be amazing –  his energy rubbed off on me, he literally showed me that anything is possible. He’s literally playing for the best club in the world. He just showed me that if you keep working hard then there’s nothing but great results to come. 

Rhian: He taught me to keep going, no matter what. It doesn’t matter what situation he is in, what may put him down, he keeps going no matter what. When I was injured Micheal was in my head. Always in my head, telling me to keep going and never give up. I could hear the little Micheal in my head! Telling me, ‘bro just keep going, keep going, it’ll happen!’

What they want their legacy to be…

Micheal: Honestly, this is one of my biggest goals in life. You know the Hollywood walk of fame, with all the stars on the floor. I have to get my names in one of them, bro. That’s not just for me. My Dad’s name is Micheal Ward as well so, for me, that would be the greatest thing ever. To be able to cement both of our names in history. 

Rhian: I want my legacy to be remembered for football; and for being one of the best in the world. It’s still a journey and I’m working hard but to remembered as one of the best footballers in the world would be a dream.  

Vol. 2

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Issue 02: Heart & Soul
Ada Hegerberg, Andre Gray, Maya Jama, Andreas Perreira, Christian Pulisic
GAFFER Issue 02: ‘Heart & Soul.’ Honouring the way football cultivates community spirit, empowers the next generation and gives fans, teams and players something bigger and more beautiful to believe in. Be prepared to meet the people who are driving the culture to new heights and those who are set to change the face of the game forever.
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