Swiss goalkeeper Ruedi Kalin has not had a haircut for ten years—and is set to go another decade before getting the clippers out!
His flowing locks have seen the veteran become a firm favourite with the Homeless World Cup fans in Glasgow this week, his every save met with loud cheers from the supporters.
One of the oldest players in this year’s tournament, Kalin last enjoyed a trim back in August, 2006 and isn’t planning on ditching the shaggy look any time soon.
“My last haircut was on August 26, 2006,” he said. “I know a local barber back in my home town and she wants to cut my hair as her last job before she retires.
“We have agreed that will happen. But she is only 54 just now and in Switzerland you have to work until you are 64, so I have another 10 years to wait!”
Born in Zurich, Kalin grew up in the ski resort of Davos in the Alps, where he emerged as an accomplished ice hockey goal tender.
He had the chance to go to Montreal at 16 as part of a player exchange programme before tragedy struck with the death of his father.
“I couldn’t go as I had to think about my family and look after them; my two sisters and my mother. If things had been different I might have played ice hockey. That was my dream but my family came first.”
Things began to go wrong for him after some domestic unrest saw him return to Zurich in search of a job. That proved somewhat fruitless and he found himself living rough.
He said: “I had two sleeping bags. In the summer I slept on the lake in Zurich and in winter I went indoors as I knew a garden with a garden house and knew where the keys were kept and managed to sneak in there without the owners knowing.”
Now based in Chur where he is successfully rebuilding his life, Kalin is widely recognised as a popular street seller, and has a second job as a city guide.
“I take people from one social institution to the next, and maybe that will be my focus in the years ahead,” he said.
Words© by Paul Kiddie read the full feature at: