Former Huddersfield Town goalkeeper Matt Glennon combines his role as a summariser on BBC Radio Leeds with running his own barber’s shop.
His shop – G27 in Emley – has been shut during lockdown and he’s counting down the days until he can pick up his scissors again.
Matt, 42, played for 16 different clubs over a 22-year football career. Now he splits his time between running his own hair and beauty business with wife Nicola and sitting alongside Radio Leeds commentator Paul Ogden at Huddersfield Town matches.
Dad-of-two Matt has continued behind the microphone – even if he hasn’t been at every match due to Covid-19 restrictions – and now is looking forward to re-opening his shop from April 12, the earliest date under Boris Johnson’s road map to ‘normality.’
“It’s an unusual combination but I love what I do,” said Matt. “And now we can’t wait to re-open on April 12.”
Sky TV threatened to throw a spanner in Matt’s dual role, however, bringing forward the kick-off time for Town’s home game against Bournemouth on Tuesday April 13 – the day after his shop is due to re-open.
“Sky in their great wisdom changed the kick-off time to 5.30pm meaning I’ve had to rearrange things so I can do the commentary on the game,” he said.
Matt looks after the men’s side at G27 while Nicola, 43, looks after the ladies. The couple, who have daughters Allannah, 17, and 13-year-old Imogen, have run the business together for six years.
Describing the last 12 months as “tough”, Matt said: “We have not known where we are from one moment to the next really.
“We managed to squeeze people in at the end of November before the lockdown started again. We were hoping to get going again for Easter so it’s been tricky.
“We have tried to be as positive as we could. It’s the same out there for everyone. You try to get out and about whenever you can. We’ve been home-schooling the kids of course too. However, you can’t moan about things, you have to get your head down and get on with it.
“The length of the time we have been closed has been problematic but things could have been worse. We could be in Wales where they’ve been given just 48 hours’ notice to get ready.
“At least here we have a date to prepare for. We’ve had everything in place, hand sanitizer, masks, spaced appointments, so we are more than ready to open.”
Matt’s even found time to redecorate the shop. “I hate decorating but lockdown has given us time to do something we wouldn’t normally have had time to do,” he said.
The one good thing about Matt’s business is that people’s hair doesn’t stop growing – assuming you have hair of course!
Bookings are stacking up and Matt said: “We are well booked up in advance particularly on the women’s side of things. It’s brilliant we are booked up but it will be very busy and hard work.
“There are some horrendous lockdown haircuts out there. As I take my daughter to school we are always looking out for which is the worst. I think there might be some damage control when we open up again!”
With current travel restrictions in place the BBC took the decision nationally to not let its journalists report on sports events outside their broadcasting area.
This has meant Paul and Matt haven’t been able to travel to Town away games. Instead they watch the game on a TV screen on the Football League’s iFollow service like supporters.
“It’s been difficult to commentate on games,” said Matt. “Oggy does a great job, it’s hard enough to do it whilst being in the stadium, never mind trying to identify players on a TV screen so all credit to him. I like to look at what’s going on in the dug-outs or what is going on at the other end of the pitch.
“I like to comment on things going on around the ball, not just who’s on it and you can’t really do that when just watching on a TV screen.”
Although having to watch on a TV screen, Matt has been impressed with the Terriers’ new first-choice goalkeeper Ryan Schofield this season.
Schofield came in for criticism earlier on in the campaign but Matt has been pleased to see how the young keeper has turned his form around.
He said: “That’s the life of a goalkeeper, one moment you’re the best thing ever, then you kick a ball out of play and you’re the worst keeper people have seen!
“I think he started the season strong. Then the whole team dipped and there were just a few bits where he conceded a few goals from bad mistakes. Now he’s coming on strong again.
“Let’s remember that a lot of players made mistakes in that dip. He will be a major reason this season why we’ll stay in the Championship.”
Fans have been missed in stadia this season and Matt can’t wait to see supporters come back.
“I don’t want to get used to fans not being there,” he said. “Hopefully it won’t go on much longer because we want that atmosphere back. I’m looking forward to the day we have a crowd back at the stadium.”