What disability does Love Island’s Hugo Hammond have? Everything you need to know about ‘clubfoot’ ahead of Love Island 2021 final
Ahead of the Love Island finale tonight (23 August), fans of the show are reflecting on a season filled with plenty of drama, dates and characters.
The show received a record number of Ofcom complaints as contestants fought to stay in the Love Island villa and be in with a chance of taking home the £50,000 prize money on offer to the winning couple.
But a season marred by claims of mugging-off and chaos resulting from Casa Amor has still seen some touching moments.
Popular English PE teacher Hugo Hammond speaking frankly about his disability as the show’s second disabled contestant in its six year history.
Here’s what ‘clubfoot’ is and what Hugo has said about his condition.
Who is Hugo Hammond?
Hugo, 24, was born and raised in Hampshire.
Attending Oxford Brookes University in the south of England, Hugo is an avid cricketer.
"I’ve actually played cricket for England PD (Physical Disability),” he revealed at the start of Love Island 2021.
"I’ve been to Bangladesh, Dubai, I’ve been everywhere to play cricket.”
Hugo now works as a PE teacher in an English secondary school.
He appeared as one of the original line-up of contestants in this year’s Love Island, coupling up with Chloe Burrows in episode one.
Hugo and Chloe later separated as a couple and remained friends, in a pattern which continued for the PE teacher until he later coupled up with Amy Day.
But the two contestants were dumped from the villa in early August after coupling up in Casa Amor.
What is ‘clubfoot’?
As Love Island’s first ever physically disabled contestant, Hugo has discussed what it’s like to have the condition known as ‘clubfoot’.
Congenital Talipes Equino-Varus is a condition occurring at birth and can see either one or both of a child’s feet curl in and under at the toes.
Clubfoot takes place when someone’s achilles tendon, located at the back of the ankle, is too short.
While it can be treated at birth to reduce pain or discomfort, the condition can become painful and cause difficulty when walking as someone grows up if it is left untreated.
According to the NHS, the disability affects roughly one in 1,000 babies born in the UK and is a condition more commonly affecting boys.
What has Hugo Hammond said about his disability?
Hugo discussed having clubfoot at the start of Love Island 2021, telling viewers "I had lots of operations when I was a kid”.
He added: “You can only really tell when I walk barefoot.
"I’ve got a really short achilles heel.”
"I walk slightly on my tip toes."
When news of the contestant’s condition broke as the series flew back onto TV screens in late June, previous contestant Niall Aslam was keen to remind viewers and the media that Hugo was not the first disabled contestant on the show.
An ambassador for the National Autistic Society, Niall appeared on Love Island in 2018 but left the show after just seven days.
He has since spoken out about his struggles with depression and psychosis after appearing on the ITV show.
On Instagram in June, Niall put up a post on Instagram in response to claims that Hugo Hammond was the show’s first disabled contestant.
"Autism is a registered disability and due to my needs not being met I ended up in psychiatric and have to live with problems here on out,” he wrote.
"I’m used to people minimising what happened to me but let’s not act like I don’t exist and re write a narrative that’s false for people that don’t deserve it.”
"I fully support inclusion but not minimising problems people face with autism even though it’s not fully visible doesn’t mean it ent there and what happened to me showed that.”