Brett’s back in business


He became a fan’s favourite at every club he played for during a 20-year career, due to his exemplary fitness levels and willingness to run himself into the ground for his team.

Now, after retiring from football, Brett Ormerod plans to swap the dressing room for the free weights room, by running his own gym.

Former Blackpool striker Brett and his wife, Lisa, will become franchisees of an ‘Anytime Fitness’ complex in Southport.

Brett hung up his boots last year at the age of 39, but did not want to go down the more conventional roads that retired players take.

“I never did my coaching badges when I was playing, and with three kids it’s hard to find time to do those kind of things,” the former Southampton forward said.

“I only retired at Bamber Bridge in January last year, and being 40 now, going into coaching is an incredibly difficult thing to do because there’s not that many jobs,”

“I just thought I needed a break away from football, so me and my wife looked at a few things and this is the path we’ve decided to go down.”

Anytime Fitness originated 10 years ago, in Minneapolis, USA, and is now one of the biggest and fastest growing health and fitness franchises in the world, with over 3,000 gyms accessible in 23 countries.

By swiping a key fob to enter the building, members can access the gym anytime, day or night, 365 days a year, even when the facility is not staffed.

However, this hasn’t been the first time the Ormerod’s have attempted to become franchisees. In 2015, an article emerged claiming they had applied for a license to run a Subway restaurant in Blackburn.

The story quickly gathered national press coverage, with many outlets suggesting the former Preston North End man would go from having a sub role on the bench, to handling a sub roll in the fast food store.

“The information wasn’t completely accurate,” Brett explains.

“It was Lisa who applied for the franchise, I was still playing non-league football at Padiham at the time and didn’t have any part in it and I wasn’t too sure exactly where the quotes came from.”

For now, the Ormerod’s are focused on their gym. Despite being three months behind schedule, the couple recently signed the lease for the Lord Street property, and are aiming for a mid-June opening.

Brett still maintains an appetite for football – dabbling with the occasional splash of match summarising for BBC Radio Lancashire and putting on training sessions at his youngest son’s team in Blackburn, but he is happy to explore pastures new.

“I still get my football fix, but I can’t say in a year or two if I’ll feel completely different,” the Blackpool legend admits.

“I’m enjoying my time away from it all and am looking forward to a completely new challenge.”


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