A Star is Born

The Channel Islands have long been a popular playground for the rich and famous, but few have the privilege of calling them home. Two exceptions to the rule are Hollywood heavyweight Henry Cavill and Lioness Maya Le Tissier – born and raised in the Channel Islands we explore their successful careers to date.

Henry Cavill’s star may be on the rise thanks to his blockbusting role as ‘Superman’ in the DC Comics films, but his origins can be charted back to somewhat humbler beginnings. Henry William Dalgliesh Cavill was born in Saint Helier, Jersey, on 5th May 1983. The fourth of five boys, his mother, Marianne, was a Jersey native, while his father, Colin, hailed from Chester in the UK.

A young Henry attended St Michael’s Preparatory School, the largest private prep in Jersey, between the ages of four and 13, a period that likely influenced his interest in history; he has been quoted as saying that Mont Orgueil Castle is one of his favourite places in Jersey and has expressed a particular love of the subject over the years.

As a youngster, Henry also has fond memories of wandering around Durrell Zoo. Apparently, he was a frequent visitor as a child and remains passionate about animals and wildlife. It was also during these formative years that, alongside his brothers, he showed promise as an actor. He took part in school drama renditions, including ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, clearly showing a flair for the Arts, although, ironically, it wasn’t his first career choice.

When Henry left Jersey to attend Stowe School in Buckinghamshire, he dreamed of joining the military and serving his country, as other family members had before him, and participated in the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) training programme. However, bitten by the acting bug, he was active on the drama scene, portraying a member of the T-Birds in a 1999 school production of Grease and taking the lead role in a performance of Dogg’s Hamlet. During his time at Stowe, he also developed a love of hockey and rugby, which he was playing when he met a certain Russell Crowe, his favourite actor, who was shooting on location at Stowe and became a mentor to him in the years to come.

In the early 2000s, Henry launched his film career with various minor roles and appearances in the television series Midsomer Murders and The Inspector Lynley Mysteries. However, his role in The Tudors as Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk, truly set him on the path to global stardom, gaining him Stateside recognition. Rumour has it that in 2005 he narrowly missed out on the role of James Bond in Casino Royale to Daniel Craig, but the big screen beckoned, and in 2011, he was cast as Clark Kent/ Superman in Man of Steel. Further roles in The Man From U.N.C.L.E, Mission Impossible – Fall Out and Netflix series The Witcher cemented his status as an A-lister and he hasn’t looked back. Who knows what our favourite Jersey-born Hollywood hero may do next but we are all waiting patiently to see this talented actor on the screen again soon.

As a youngster, Henry also has fond memories of wandering around Durrell Zoo. He was a frequent visitor as a child and remains passionate about animals
and wildlife.

Guernsey’s Lioness

Maya Le Tissier

Maya Le Tissier may only just be making a global name for herself on the football pitch, but back home in Guernsey her potential as a player was hard to ignore. The 20-year-old was born on the island on 18th April 2002 and quickly showed a flair for the game, joining her local team, St Martins A.C, coached by her father, Darren, at just four years old. There were no girls’ teams on the island, so Maya continued to play with the boys, flying to Hampshire to play for the county team twice a month and making history when she became the first female player to represent Guernsey’s Under 16 boys’ team in 2018.

Travelling off-island to play and train meant that Maya missed too much football training and school in Guernsey, where she attended Les Beaucamps High School, so it was agreed that she would no longer play for Hampshire. However, any disappointment was short-lived when she teamed up with the South West regional talent camp.

Maya Le Tissier

Maya made history in 2018 by becaming the first female player to represent Guernsey’s Under 16 boys’ team.

For the next few years, she flew to England monthly to play and train. The teenager’s talent as a defender was quickly recognised, gaining Maya a coveted place in the England Under-15s side.

At just 16 years old, in 2018, Maya joined Brighton & Hove Albion’s Youth Academy, where she was rapidly promoted to the first team as a substitute. Later that season, she made her debut for the team against Crystal Palace, playing a full 90 minutes of a 5-1 victory match. Her success over the season led to a flurry of award wins, including Brighton Women’s Young Player of the Season for both the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons and a nomination for PFA Women’s Young Player of the Year in 2022. After four hugely successful years at Brighton, she earned herself a three-year contract with Manchester United, with the move triggering a release clause.

Maya Le Tissier

The 20-year-old Sarnian has continued to gain global recognition for her talents on the pitch. In 2021, she was named as one of the top 10 best young footballers in the world by digital football publication Goal, and at the end of last year, she hit another career milestone by making her debut for the Lionesses in their 1-1 draw against Norway in Spain. Despite how far she has come, one of her proudest achievements is being a role model for girls and boys in the Channel Islands and forging a path for others to follow.

Did you know…

Many associate Maya with her famous Guernsey namesake Matt Le Tissier. However, despite their sporting similarities there is no relation between them.