Saturday 7 December 2019

Catwalk debut for battered Good Samaritan after reconstructive surgery

Richie Robins was beaten to a pulp while helping a woman in a nightclub and feared his dreams of a career in modelling were over

Richie Robins in hospital after being beaten, left, and a picture from his model lookbook
Richie Robins in hospital after being beaten, left, and a picture from his model lookbook

A Good Samaritan who was beaten to a pulp as he saved a woman from a gang has made his catwalk debut after reconstructive surgery.

Amateur footballer Richie Robins, 21, was kicked and beaten as he lay unconscious on the floor after intervening when he saw the woman – who he did not know – cornered by six men outside a nightclub.

The Wivenhoe Town FC keeper was left with horrific facial injuries including a broken nose, cheek and eye socket after the attack last December.

The attack came just a week after he had been approached by a modelling agency and he feared that because of his injuries his dreams of a career on the catwalk were over.

However, following reconstructive surgery on the NHS to put his cheekbone and eye socket back in place he was approached by a talent scout and made his modelling debut at a show in Mayfair, London.

Mr Robins, who still suffers nightmares from the attack, says the modelling has been a "massive confidence boost".

The sport development student, who is studying at University of East London, said: "I was not drinking as I had football in the morning so I saw things more clearly.

"They had cornered the girl inside the club and then they did it again outside. They pushed her up against the wall so I had to step in.

"I was in total agony after the attack. I was devastated when I saw my face.

"For the first three months the nerves in my face were so damaged any quick kind of movement felt like I'd got a bag of Lego bricks in my face all jumbling around.

"I still don't think I look quite right. I hope the swelling will go down as I can notice it.

"I had written modelling off so it was a massive confidence boost to walk down the catwalk."

Mr Robins, from Colchester, Essex, was set upon outside a nightclub in the town on December 21 after going to support his friend's new event.

He spent Christmas in hospital – eating his roast dinner through a straw – and then a further four months in and out of hospital.

Surgeons at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, Essex, fixed his broken nose and spent two hours carefully inserting a metal plate into his left cheek.

Mr Robins, who still has swelling on his left side, was stunned when he was scouted for the catwalk and told the scars on his nose and forehead wouldn't hold him back.

Michelle Court, founder of creative agency Court On Camera who headhunted the footballer, said: "When I saw him I just thought he has amazing cheekbones.

"He had confidence and is beautiful looking. The best thing about Richie is he is so modest."

He was first team goalkeeper for non-league side Wivenhoe Town FC who play in the Eastern Counties League Premier Division.

He was also a youth player with Colchester United and was offered the chance to train with West Ham United.

Essex Police are still investigating the attack which took place outside Subway, and two men are on bail until next month.

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