A BARBER who was a former football player has raised funds for the charity that ‘saved his life’ after he was involved in a car crash.

After a career in football, in 2012 Rory Curtis was involved in a near fatal accident which led to him sustaining two brain injuries.

Since the crash, Rory has opened the Charlie Parker’s Cut Throat & Coffee barbershop in Barbourne Road, where he has raised money for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and Headway Worcestershire.

Rory, aged 29 said: “I see the crash as a blessing in disguise as now I am following my dream as a barbershop owner.

“During my recovery I had an epiphany, and an overwhelming urge to follow my father’s footsteps.

“I am following the family tradition as the first Charlie Parker’s was opened in 1981 in Redditch. This business is in my blood.”

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Rory suffered a brain haemorrhage and a diffused brain injury from the accident and also had to have a metal rod put in his hip.

He said: “I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the care and support I received from the staff at the hospital. The care I had was incredible, everyone was at hand when I needed them.

“I was in such shock when I got there because of the accident but everyone was so understanding and were there for my friends and family, not just me. They were like a little family, not just doctors and nurses.”

Rory, from Bromsgrove, played for the youth teams at Manchester United and Walsall until he was 19, before being a lecturer at South and City College Birmingham teaching Barbering.

There are five Charlie Parker’s Cut Throat & Coffee barbershops, with the fifth that’s just opened in Worcester.

The opening day, on July 27, raised £500 which was split between the charities Headway Worcestershire and the trauma research at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

Cathryn Worth, fundraising manager said: “Rory has done lots of fundraising for us in the past and raised an incredible amount of money.

"We are so grateful that he has chosen to celebrate his barber shop opening with us as well.

“All of the money raised will go towards funding added extras that go over and above what the NHS can fund in the trauma unit, so thank you Rory and good luck with your new business.”