There can’t be many people in football who are busier than Gareth Seddon. Aside from hammering in the goals for Ramsbottom FC, he runs his own cheese and wine bar in Lancashire, is entering the world of punditry, is helping to launch the next generation of footballers and is possibly English football’s most successful model.
Last time we spoke to the former Bury and Chester striker, he told us all about his time scoring for fun alongside Jamie Vardy at Fleetwood Town, plus his days in front of the camera when the BBC covered Salford City’s efforts in Class of 92: Out of Their League.
This time, the 36-year-old explains how he’s spent the last 10-years dovetailing between the football pitch and casting auditions – and how it was all by accident.
Over to you, Seds…
“I was walking through the Trafford Centre in Manchester, and there was this woman walking towards me. And she was looking at me – I thought she was flirting with me! We started talking and she asked if I was a model, and I thought it was the worst chat-up line I’d ever heard!
“Then she explained that she was married and was actually a model scout and worked for an agency in Manchester – she thought she recognised me from somewhere. She said I had something and asked me down to a casting audition.
“I didn’t think anything of it to be honest, but I turned up at the casting a couple of days later and there was about 200 other people. The queue went right out the door and I was gutted as I thought she’d just handed her card out to everyone.
“So I was about to walk out, and she came running out of the building after me, and explained that everyone else was there for an open day!
The thousand yard stare
“So it went from there really. It was so nerve-wracking at first, having some pictures done. I’ve never been taught how to pose, and you never think there’s a way to do it, but there is.
“You might have 50 pictures on Facebook but there’ll be one where you think ‘Yeah I look alright there’, and it’s working out how to replicate that.”
“I like to call it the thousand yard stare!”
“This was when I was at Hyde United and I was just getting over my Spondyloarthritis illness. I’d been ill for about 18 months, well, nearly two years and I was just getting back to feeling like I could go to the gym and things like that, but I’d already been through a lot.
“The modelling gig was a boost for me at just the right time.
“So about three or four days after I met the agency, they rang me up and offered me a three-year deal, which was great!”
“And about a month later I got my first work – it was for 30 days of shoots and the money was handy too.”
From Barcelona to Loch Lomond
“It’s been nearly 10 years now and I’ve worked with anyone and everyone. People like Adidas, Nike, Puma, then others like BooHoo and ASOS.
“I’ve also done quite a bit of catalogue work for Next. I did a good shoot with Land Rover where we went over to Barcelona – that was mega!
“Last week I was up at Loch Lomond where it was wasn’t quite so glamorous… but it’s all part of the fun.
“I’ve been really lucky to be honest. I turn up to castings and see the others there and I’m just blown away, there are some beautiful people out there – and I’m not one of them!
“I’m just a half-decent looking lad and whatever work I’ve got has helped to pay my way through life alongside football.
“I’ve never taken myself too seriously with this and I just enjoy a shoot when I’m on one. Thankfully it’s been regular work and whatever money I’ve made from it has just been a bonus for me and my family.”
“It hasn’t always been easy and sometimes I’ve had make a direct choice between football and modelling, as you may have seen on the BBC show with Salford City. But it has always come down to what is the best option for my family.”
The next generation
“I know I’m coming to the end of my playing – and maybe modelling! – career, but thankfully I’ve got the agency to keep me in and around the game when I hang up my boots.
“It’s really taking off with DRN too. We’ve got about 24 players on our books at the minute, and a couple of our lads are doing really well.
“We’ve got one lad at Blackpool and he’s a fantastic talent, and we had to do some work last week because Wolves want to take him.
“So I really had to turn into an agent when I went down to Bloomfield Road– which was fun! And we’ve got another lad at Accrington Stanley who Stoke are interested in.
“And that’s absolutely everything we’re about and why we do it.
“We’re trying to give kids a chance where otherwise they may have slipped through the net.
“So having clubs like Wolves and Stoke take interest in these kids, and hopefully offer them an opportunity is absolutely fantastic.”
You can keep up to date with all of Seddon’s latest antics right here.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing