Love Islands kind Hugo is actually selfish, arrogant and dominant, pals say
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Hugo Hammond won the support of Love Island viewers last night after he was labelled "too kind" by fellow contestant Faye Winter.
But according to colleagues and family members, the sometimes "selfish" and "abrupt" PE teacher has a streak of "bravado and arrogance" that has occasionally given him a bad reputation.
In an interview with a cricketing magazine, those close to him have laid bare the "unairbrushed" story of Hugo's "troubled childhood" as well as his more tricky, "dominant" personality traits.
Hugo, 24, was the third boy to enter the villa and faced an awkward moment when none of the girls stepped forward for him.
Islander Faye immediately said he looked "too kind" while host Laura Whitmore pointed out his "lovely curls".
Many fans compared Hugo's kind nature to Dr Alex George who took part in the fourth series and was also unlucky in love, and Curtis Pritchard who famously told Amy Hart he liked to make everyone coffee in the morning.
Sportsman Hugo is the show's first disabled contestant and has represented his country by playing cricket for England PD (Physical Disability) around the world in places such as Bangladesh and Dubai.
Close friend Dan Reynaldo said: "Of all the England lads in the PD set-up, Hugo's the one that I'd say would do something like this [and go on Love Island].
"Probably brave enough to do something like this, probably stupid enough to do something like this.
"From the Hugo that I know he will give some entertainment but at the same point but I'd like to see how he adapts to that environment."
According to those who know him, it should have been impossible for Hugo to play sport as he was born with a hereditary condition commonly known as clubfoot (or talipes).
In layman's terms, talipes is when an infant is born with feet turned inwards. There are various degrees of severity but in Hugo's case, it was very bad.
His parents Simon and Antonia were partly prepared for the diagnosis as his older brother Alex also had the condition.
"His feet were absolutely terrible," father Simon told The Cricketer. "The surgeon said they were the worst he'd ever seen. We were told the chances of him being able to play sport or run were minimal.
"But I like a challenge."
Hugo's diagnosis started a string of painful and complicated surgeries which left him in plaster for months and months. He went under the knife 12 times before he turned seven.
But he persevered with cricket and shaped his style around his limitations, pals say.
"Nothing phased him," fellow player Toby Salmon said. "He was a guy who had a certain amount of limitation, but you wouldn't think it. He went head-first into many things."
Former coach Qasim Ali described Hugo as a "prankster" but "a very likeable person".
"He can come across as abrupt, but he was an important character," he added.
While former England captain Ian Nairn said of Hugo: "As a character, he was someone who needed to be a dominant part of the team.
"In Love Island, he'll be a huge success because it is about him.
"In 2015, he was a really dominant and strong part of the squad and participated with everyone in that environment. I guess people change as they go through university as they get into jobs and the like.
"Hopefully, on the show, he can display his great qualities.
"If he comes across brilliantly, it will be the best thing that has ever happened to disability cricket. If it doesn't go brilliantly it could be quite challenging for the game."
Speaking of their time playing cricket together professionally, Hugo's brother Alex said: "There were a few 'yes' men in disability cricket and who would go with the flow.
"Hugo and I would stand up and challenge things. That was the way we were brought up: if you do not agree with something there is no point just going along with it.
"Deep down we are two very stubborn, at times selfish cricketers. Cricket is a selfish game and if you are selfish you tend to score more runs.
"Michael Jordan would push his teammates to be the best they could be, and I think that is what Hugo and I have driven to do. We may have rubbed some people up the wrong way but if we acted differently, I am not sure we would be true to ourselves."
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