Sam Brady


A drunken office worker, on his way home from a Christmas party, was weaving along the pavement in Manchester city centre. He had clearly been celebrating a bit too enthusiastically and, as he wound his way unsteadily home, almost stumbled into the road several times. I started to feel concerned that he would fall in front of an oncoming car, as the roads were busy. But he was about a hundred yards ahead of me and, even if I could reach him, I wasn't sure what I could do to help.
Sure enough, as he stepped off the kerb to cross a side street, he lost his footing and fell into the road. Before I could react, a group of teenage boys ran across the road, lifted him up and carried him to safety. They sat him down and gave him a bottle of water. As I passed them, I heard one of the boys saying to the drunken man, "What's your address? We'll put you in a taxi..."
It struck me that, under normal circumstances, had I seen this group of boys walking towards me on a dark winter night in the city centre, I would have avoided eye contact and felt wary of them. But here they were responding spontaneously with kindness and humanity to a drunken man in a suit with whom, on the face of it, they had nothing in common.

-Sam Brady