SERGIO Aguero has been a cut above most Premier League strikers since he signed for Manchester City in 2011.
And thanks to a barber who put down roots in Lees two-and-a-half years ago, the Argentinean ace also has a head start when it comes to distinctive hairstyles.
But while Alan Beak and his Ruger brand may be stylists to the stars, they intend to remain an integral part of the local business community.
That is why Sergio, Blues team mate Nicolas Otamendi and other members of the Aguero entourage set their sat navs for Acorn Street last month to get in trim for the champions’ Christmas party.
The group had already boosted Oldham’s economy by eating at Mazzo’s Italian restaurant in Royton, much to the delight and surprise of lunchtime diners.
“I’ve done Sergio’s hair for about two-and-a-half years,” revealed Shaw-based Alan.
“He has it cut every week and usually I go to his house or the club.
“On this occasion it was last minute and I said if you want your haircut you will have to come to the shop. It was the only way possible.
“But he is incredibly humble and knows I have a business and a family, the latter which always comes first,” explained the dad of Olive, 18 months old, and Arthur, three months.
“So he had his haircut done, had his picture taken and then went off to City’s Christmas party.
“I treat him like he wants to be treated – as a client and as a friend.
“I have little idea about football but that ensures our relationship is so good.”
Alan, who works alongside younger brother Reece and six other members of the Ruger cutting crew, also attends to the hair of City slickers Oleksandr Zinchenko, Danilo and Aymeric Laporte.
“Since doing Sergio’s hair, we may have had 10-15 very high profile people – singers, actors, footballers – get in touch,” revealed Alan.
“Sometimes though it doesn’t materialise because they want you to jump through hoops to get to them. Sergio was different.”
Alan has come a long way since starting in the industry as a Saturday boy 21 years ago. He previously worked at Steven Caine’s Gents hairdressing on Huddersfield Road and then teamed up with Reece to launch Ruger in Lydgate.
Confirmed animal lovers Ruger is actually named after a dog they came across on Instagram.
“Sadly, it passed away at the age of two but we wanted its legacy of to live on,” said Alan.
Their four-legged friend now shares its name with shops in Lytham St Annes as well as Lees plus a range of eight hairdressing products.
“As a brand we wanted to be more bespoke and higher end of a barber’s shop,” added Alan, whose customers can arrange appointments through the Booksy app.
“We cater for babies as young as six weeks old to 96 years old to make sure we get a broad spectrum of clients.
“Everyone here cuts as good as the person next to them.
“And we all bounce off each other to make sure we know what is current in terms of techniques and styles. We are a family.
“We are a community barber’s shop and will always stay a community barbers.
“People think because we have built up this reputation we will leave and go to Manchester. We do have plans to expand but we are expanding here.”