A CELEBRITY hairdresser who opened a string of salons across the south has died after a long illness.

Trevor Mitchell found fame in the 1970s and 1980s, cutting the hair of high profile clients including Saints stars Kevin Keegan and Peter Shilton and James Bond actor Sean Connery.

He also trained hairdressers from Russia, Japan and Great Britain as they prepared for world championships.

Posting on social media Trevor Mitchell International in Bedford Place, Southampton, said: "We are very sad to announce the passing of our founder.

"He leaves a lasting legacy from his over-60 year career. He has been a huge influence in the hairdressing industry and will be missed by colleagues and customers alike."

Southampton Memories added: "Trevor Mitchell he started his business in Woolston and eventually his fame spread right across the world. He was a Southampton legend. RIP."

Trevor arrived in Southampton at the age of 16 and worked in Kedina Bakery in the High Street.

He joined the Royal Hampshire Regiment in 1952 and was asked to become a barber. He had limited experience as his mother was a hairdresser.

Recalling his early days in the profession he said: "I had to cut the rookies’ hair for two years, I was awful but I got better at it.”

After that he opened his first shop in Woolston. It only had a mirror and a chair but it was enough for him to build up a trade.

Trevor began to enter competitions in the 1960s and he finished last in every one for the first four years, but he kept plugging away and he has not looked back since.

In 2013, aged 79, he showed his cutting credentials were as sharp as ever by winning two trophies in a prestigious hairdressing competition.

Trevor, who by then owned eight salons across the county, entered the South of England Hairdressing Competition in a bid to encourage his staff to take part in similar events.

But he never expected to do so well as it was his first contest in ten years.

Trevor had 20 minutes to show off his skills in each category. He did a bob for the ladies’ competition and a short back and sides for the men’s.

Speaking at the time he said: "I did it to inspire them (my staff) to enter competitions so they can follow in my footsteps.

“I did not think I would win anything at all. The only thing I think I did that stood out was make the hair look tidy.

“When I went out there and took part I was shaking and I could not understand it as I had represented England sometimes.

"This was probably the hardest competition as it was such a long time ago since I competed.”