Milton Keynes is not yet blessed with a host of legends as the city is only 50 years old – but Just Gents owner Tony Roberts is certainly one of them.
The 73-year-old has run his traditional shop at the centre:mk for the last 35 years and is a cut above the rest after becoming one of only eight barbers in Europe to achieve Grand Master Barber status.
Celebrate:MK went for a coffee with Tony to discuss his 60-year barbering career – but it was his achievements outside of Just Gents that left us equally impressed.
Tony said: “It was a huge honour to be awarded the Grand Master Barber title, which is the highest accolade you can get.
“For me, quality is crucial so I do everything to the best of my ability and I expect the same from my staff.
“This ethos has helped me to achieve lots of things in life, including clay pigeon shooting for Great Britain, doing a gig with The Beatles in 1964 as a singer, boxing for 28 years, finishing third in the British Championship in carp fishing and becoming a golf pro in Spain for four years too.
“But cutting hair is still my first love – I love it as much today as I did when I started out as a 13-year-old.”
Tony, who still visits his shop every day, has trained hundreds of barbers since launching Just Gents as central MK’s first barber shop in 1983.
He explained: “I’ve probably trained half of the barbers in MK over the years. “I’ve recently trained a young Italian lad I’ve got at Just Gents called Fabrizio Ciliberti (pictured below), who came to me last year.
“He goes to MK College one day a week and when he first started I told them he would win Student Barber of the Year – and he did!
“He uses all of my traditional methods and he cuts hair just the same as I do.
“The judges said they’ve never seen anyone at that age use scissors as well as he does.
“He’s got his own customers now who queue up for him, which is great as it takes the pressure off me!”