Meet Australia’s newest NFL star Lou Hedley as former scaffolder who owned a tattoo parlour in Bali breaks into the big time as a 30-year-old rookie
Meet Australia’s newest NFL star, Lou Hedley, as a former scaffolder who owned a tattoo parlor in Bali and breaks through as a 30-year-old rookie
- Lou Hedley is Australia’s newest NFL star
- Punter has made the New Orleans Saints roster
- The Rock is a fan of the tattooed Australian
Uncalled-up Australian punter Lou Hedley gets a chance to fulfill his sporting dreams after winning a spot on the NFL team the New Orleans Saints.
The 30-year-old former scaffolder from Mandurah, Western Australia, has one of the most unlikely stories in the sport and US media are already calling him ‘the most interesting man in the NFL’.
The heavily tattooed father of one will now bring in a minimum salary of $750,000 (AU$1.1 million) – not bad for a school dropout who recently owned a tattoo parlor on Bali, an Indonesian island that is a popular holiday spot for Australians.
The highest paid football stars in his home country rarely make more than one million dollars per season in local money.
Hedley spent his early years in the small town of Leeman – with a population of less than 400 – where his father worked as a crayfish fisherman.
He dreamed of playing professional Aussie Rules football and made it to the Western Australian Football League while playing for the Peel Thunder before deciding to try his hand at the NFL.
Australian gambler Lou Hedley has secured a position with the New Orleans Saints and is already being paid as well as football’s biggest stars Down Under
The 30-year-old Western Australian took an unlikely path to the NFL after working in the construction industry and owning a tattoo parlor on the Indonesian island of Bali
At 193cm tall and with a 100kg frame, Hedley doesn’t look like your typical gambler, but he’s adapted well to the sport.
“I pretty much lived off the ground in a harness for seven years of my life,” Hedley told Bleacher Report about his years as a scaffolder.
“It was all fun and I was able to keep fit while I worked. Besides, it was great money and I didn’t have time to spend any of it.’
After spending a few months learning the rules of the American game, Hedley took the college scene by storm with the University of Miami Hurricanes.
In his four years and 47 games with the Miami team, he kicked 206 times at an average of 45.2 yards per attempt, launching a whopping 77 punts inside the opposing team’s 20-yard line.
Hedley even got a shout-out from Hollywood icon Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, who also wore the number 94 jersey as a defensive target with the team.
“Thanks for rocking my #94 Lou Hedley,” Johnson tweeted in 2019.
“Look forward to that workout one day. Meanwhile, welcome to the U, keep disrupting and always be the hardest worker in the (MF’n) room.”
Hedley took the college scene by storm with the University of Miami Hurricanes where he racked up big numbers with the boot
Hedley (pictured with Hurricanes cheerleader girlfriend Danielle Loverto) will now earn a minimum salary of $1.1 million in Australian dollars, putting him on par with the highest paid footballers from his home country
Hedley is the proud father of son Loki Oliver and hopes the youngster sees him play in the NFL soon.
“Everything I do is for that boy,” Hedley said.
‘It wakes me up every morning. It’s a huge motivation for me and I hope that maybe one day I can reach my goal and he can see me do it.’
After not being included in 2023, the inclusion of 30-year-old Hedley on the Saints’ roster – which became official on Tuesday – is an incredible result for Western Australia.
Hedley summed it up nicely recently when he posted a photo of himself in his new Saints uniform with the caption, “It’s been a good summer.”