Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Leota a Cut above ; Sale Powerhouse Reveals Inspiration Behind Striking Mr T Mohawk Hairstyle

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Leota a Cut above ; Sale Powerhouse Reveals Inspiration Behind Striking Mr T Mohawk Hairstyle

Article excerpt

SALE'S amazing battle to secure their Premiership survival has been a hair-raising experience for everyone associated with the Barton-based club.

But for Samoa powerhouse centre Johnny Leota that has literally proved the case.

The 29-year-old created a national stir last Friday when he took to the field for Sale's crucial league clash with Gloucester sporting an outrageous Mohawk barnet reminiscent of Mr T from cult 1980s programme The A Team.

However, Leota's ruse was all in the best possible cause.

It was part of his effort to raise funds for Luca Williams and the Tree of Hope charity, which offers help, hope and support to the families of sick children At the age of three, Luca was struck down by Meningococcal Septicaemia which saw him lose both his legs.

struck down by Meningococcal Septicaemia which saw him lose both his legs.

The game was screened live on TV and Leota scored a stunning charge-down try - in the manner of BA Baracus - less manner of - less than a minute into the game before producing arguably his best display in his two years at the club as Sale stormed to a 32-9 win to seal their survival in the top flight.

And the Sharks weren't the only winners on the night as Leota's efforts helped spark a flurry of sponsorship pledges.

"I was inspired to help by the efforts of Dr Dee Clark who was at the club last year," said Leota. "She brought Luca's case to my attention and when I checked out the details I discovered they didn't have as much money as they deserved. I read attention and when I checked out the details I discovered they didn't have as much money as they deserved. I read some of the blogs that his parents had posted and he sounded such a brave and inspiring little boy, so I wanted to help. So from the start of last December I decided to grow my hair and beard without it being cut or shaved and then I said I wouldn't cut it until before the Gloucester game. …

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