As he gets ready to depart Hull FC after a number of quality years at the MKM Stadium, Manu Ma’u will be remembered by the Black and Whites faithful.
Since joining the Hull club back in 2020, Ma’u has gone on to be one of the club’s most formidable forwards with his big hits and barnstorming carries making him a feared player in East Yorkshire.
However, that may never have been the case had the Tongan international’s life not continued down the path that it had started with two decades ago.
Fluent Rugby wrote: “What sent Ma’u to prison for almost 2 years was a gang attack on a rival crew. A member of Ma’u’s gang had been stabbed so Ma’u and his gang went looking for vengeance. They received word that their rivals were hosting a 21st birthday party and the gangster who stabbed his friend would be there.
“Ma’u and his gang turned up at the party and began assaulting all of the guests. They armed themselves with poles, sticks, bats, beer bottles, and knuckle dusters It was mayhem as the party guests attempted to escape. Ma’u and his gang unleashed a vicious beating on tens of guests including the alleged stabber. He suffered some nasty injuries including broken bones
“Ma’u was promptly arrested the following day when police turned up at his mother’s house at 6 in the morning and dragged the gang member out in cuffs. Ma’u’s mother was crying hysterically as they put him in the police car. His wild party assault landed him almost 2 years in jail.”
That being said, Ma’u came out of prison a reformed character and turned to rugby league where he excelled.
Ma’u was released in 2009 to work and continue his rugby league career, joining the New Zealand Warriors’ reserves team the Auckland Vulcans in the New South Wales Cup.
Because of his criminal history, however, Ma’u found himself unable to play away games, as the Australian immigration department denied him a visa, citing his criminal history.
In 2013, after his manager and the Parramatta Eels battled for a year to gain the necessary visa, Ma’u moved to Australia to play in the New South Wales Cup for the Wentworthville Magpies, the Eels’ reserves team.
From there, he made it into the Eels’ NRL side where he made over 100 appearances in six seasons before moving to Hull ahead of the 2020 season.
An incredible character and brilliant player on the field, Ma’u will be heading to the Catalans Dragons for 2023 and beyond.