Saturday, 5 November 2011

Lua Lua flushed with success after axing loo cleaning job

Lomana Lua Lua needed a stint cleaning the loos at McDonalds to persuade him to chase a career in football.

Blackpool's extrovert striker preferred gymnastics as a kid after arriving from the war-torn Congo - a proficiency he still shows off in his goal celebrations.

And despite being highly-talented as a kid he was not grabbed by the idea of polishing up his football skills.

That was until he found himself in a McDonalds cubicle, bog brush in hand and a bleak future in front of him.

He said: ``I realised I had to make a go of it when I had to do work experience at McDonalds.

``One day I was told to clean the toilets and I sat down with the door shut and realised that wasn't the life I wanted.

``My dad hadn't brought my family over here for a new life for his son not to make the most of what he has.

``So from that day onwards I dedicated myself to football and begged for a chance to play and thankfully I got that.''

Lua Lua left the Congo at the age of eight but still has vivid memories of the dangerous land he left behind.

He added: ``My dad always says we came over for a better life. There was a lot of fighting going on in Congo and it was very similar to the rioting that we've had here recently.

``But back there it was a little more dangerous.

``The people who were breaking into your house were killing people as well, so the last thing I remember in Congo was just a lot of fighting going on.''

But Lua Lua has enjoyed a love affair with English football ever since realising it could help him snare girlfriends.

He said: ``When I came to England I didn't want to play football, it was all about gymnastics and I would practice that all the time and do competitions against other kids.

``But there was a girl in school that I liked and I wanted to impress her and the only way to impress her was to play football.

``Everybody would be in the playground and the girl that I liked would be there so this was the only way that I could get her attention.

``Thankfully a teacher was watching from a window in an upstairs classroom and wanted to make a school team, so he pulled me to one side and told me and that was it from that day

That led to an impressive career, including stints at Newcastle and Portsmouth, before ending up playing a leading part in Blackpool's current promotion push.

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