THIS is the Southampton barber hoping to be a cut above the rest at Wembley.
Adam Wilde was as hacked off as every other Saints fan when the club exited the FA Cup at Sunderland last month.
But he is still going to the home of football – to play for Gosport Borough on the biggest day of the non-league season.
The 34 year-old winger will try to cut down odds-on favourites Cambridge United in Sunday’s FA Trophy final, his first club after his Saints dream was cut short as a schoolboy.
But Wilde, who lives with wife Jen in Portswood, will be busy trimming his teammates’ hair in the build-up to the biggest day of his career.
He has worked as a barber since his pro career ended a decade ago and for the last four years has owned Duo Hair in East St, Southampton.
“We’re a typical non-league team with chippies, builders, scaffolders and PE teachers and they give me stick,” he laughs.
“But they keep saying they need to look sharp for Wembley so four of them have already booked in for a haircut at our hotel.
“They want to look pretty for the cameras!
“They’ll have finished work but I’ll be cutting hair till late!”
Wilde has only been to the home of football once before, to support former Saints youth teammate Wade Elliott in the 2009 Championship play-off final.
“Saints missed a trick by not playing their best team in the FA Cup, they were so close to Wembley, but I can’t believe I’m going to be playing there, it’s already giving me butterflies,” he said.
“I was at Southampton until I was 14, when I was told I was too small. In those days if you couldn’t grow a moustache at 14 you didn’t really have a chance.
“It would have been nice to play for my hometown club, but to play at Wembley is a dream come true and I couldn’t wish for better opponents than Cambridge United. To be playing them at Wembley is a bit weird, it seems like fate.”
A Saints fan since his first visit to The Dell, aged eight, Wilde is one of several Southampton-based players at Gosport, his club since 2009 and the lowest-ranked team to reach the FA Trophy final for 11 years.
“Die-hard Pompey supporters watch us so I was a bit nervous going down there at first,” he admits.
“I wasn’t sure if I’d be accepted and I’m not sure I still am with some!
“But we have good banter. I class my teammates as real mates and that’s what’s helped get us this far.”