As the Mirror reports, Owen and his girlfriend, Jemma, were driving through the town of Chippenham in Wiltshire, England when they saw a woman who had climbed over the safety railings on a bridge and was now standing on the edge, looking down at the busy highway below her. The 22-year-old Owen immediately pulled over to talk to the woman and try to slow down the traffic that was rushing by her.
“I got to her and started talking to her,” Owen told the Mirror. “She was clearly very upset, so I just talked about anything I could think of with her.”
Owen noticed that his Welsh accent seemed to help the woman calm down, and took her hand to make sure that she wouldn’t slip and fall of the bridge.
“When I got to her I managed to get my arms through the barriers to hold onto her,” Owen told BBC News. “I have a broken finger from rugby so I was obviously in a bit of pain but I managed to get my grip.”
Despite the discomfort, he never let go of the woman—even when it became clear that it was going to take some time to get her down safely. Though help arrived on the scene quickly, the woman was too scared to climb down the ladder offered by a fire truck.
'I’d rather have lost my arm than let something happen to her': HEROIC rugby player Michael Owen clung tightly… https://t.co/8jB8KEKo4i
— Gazette & Herald (@wiltsgazette) October 21, 2015
In the end, it took a full hour before a second truck could be brought to the scene to rescue the woman. Police also blocked traffic below and took measures to ensure her safety if she fell. Through it all, Owen continued to hold her hand.
His sister, Sarah, said wasn’t surprised to hear about Owen’s heroics—that’s exactly the kind of guy her brother is.
“He has an amazing personality and a huge heart, which is evident from his actions here,” Sarah said proudly, adding that she and the entire family, “could just burst with pride,” about his part in the rescue.