When you reach the point in your career when you’re ready for something new, most people would look to move into something related to their field. For Matt Glennon, a change meant a change, as he swapped his goal keeping gloves for a pair of scissors.
With a career spanning twenty years, Matt previously trained at Bolton Wanderers before going on to play at Carlisle, Huddersfield Town and Stockport. Now a qualified barber running his own salon in Huddersfield, Matt also runs a goalkeeping academy and works for BBC Radio Leeds.
Here, Matt tells us what made him choose this unconventional path.
Hi Matt! What made you decide to move into barbering?
Before I went bald, I always got my hair cut in the same local salon. One day, the guy asked me what I wanted to do when I finished football and I realised I didn’t have a clue. My father-in-law worked on the rigs but that wasn’t for me. I didn’t want to go into management, and as much as I loved the joys of the training ground, goalkeeping coaching was too unstable. I thought staying in football would be too unsettling. The hairdresser suggested I tried barbering as its really social and I love to talk, so I went on this crazy barbering course and I absolutely loved it and thought ‘I can really do this’!
And did the PFA support you when you decided to make this change?
Yes, they’ve always helped with advice, as well as financially. They’ve contributed to the barbering courses, as well as a computer course I did with them previously. I played at Port Vale with Simon Barker and I’ve known Oshor Williams for a long time and he’s always been superb. You get as much out of the PFA as you want, I think. I’d say they do more for you than any other union – they’re always looking out for you.
You also work in radio, how did that come about?
I’ve been on BBC Radio Leeds for the last two years as the expert summariser for Huddersfield Town, and sometimes talk about other teams too. Around six weeks ago, I started my own Monday night football show, where I cover all subjects to do with west Yorkshire football and whatever else I feel like talking about. It’s a great way to keep up with friends, and I’m still in the game without getting kicked in the face!
And you run a goalkeeping academy too?
Yes, G27 Goalkeeping Academy has been going for around 5 years now, and I run a couple of sessions on a Wednesday for about 25 lads. Some of them test me but smashing the ball around keeps me fit and we all enjoy it. I help them with everything - a lot of the guys have problems with bullying or the psychological side of the game. We have a lot of talks about the highs and lows of being a keeper, alongside all the laughs and serious work.
What advice would you give to a player who might be thinking about their career post-football?
I didn’t start my education until I was almost 30. Looking back, I wish I’d started earlier because when I transitioned out of football, it could’ve been a lot smoother. Footballers have a drive and going into a 9-5 job doesn’t suit everyone and won’t suit most players.
I think it’s important to find something you’re interested in, and the PFA has a massive list of things they can help you with - so you can find something to take you forward. The PFA have been there for me through personal problems, as well as financially. They’ve always been there when I’ve needed help and its reassuring to know that they’re not just about the Premier League boys because they’re high profile. They don’t shy away from supporting you and they do a good job, so if you want the help they’re there for you.
Thinking About A New Career?
The PFA offer a wide selection of education programmes, and funding is available to support any nationally recognised qualification for current or former members. If you’re interested in exploring your next steps, learn more here.