Two Tameside men have been chosen from thousands of proud glasses wearers as finalists for Specsavers’ Spectacle Wearer of the Year.
Leejay Jenkins-Skinner, aged 28, and Massimino “Massimo” Malacrino, aged 49, could follow in the footsteps of last year’s Award winner, Shane Haron, and take home £10,000 and the chance to mingle with the stars at the annual Spectacle Wearer of the Year Awards.
Glasses wearers across the UK and Republic of Ireland have been showing off their specs style by sharing their selfies online throughout the spring and summer.
Leejay and Massimo were invited to visit their local Specsavers store in Ashton-under-Lyne to receive a bottle of champagne, a certificate and a £129 glasses voucher.
Leejay explains, “I realised four years ago that I needed glasses when I couldn’t read the tram displays to Manchester. It was a slow transition, but now they make me more bold and confident. I use my glasses to style myself, picking my glasses to go with my outfit – they’re everything to me. I have to thank my girlfriend for suggesting I enter the competition, now let’s hope I can win it!”
Massimo adds, “I was a little bit shocked to be a regional finalist! I entered because when I was younger, I had a different look to most people and was picked on. It took my confidence away, especially wearing glasses, but now, when I’m supporting Fundraising for Florence, or wherever my charity work takes me, I tell everyone “it’s ok for kids to wear gigs”.”
James Richardson, store director at Specsavers Ashton-under-Lyne, said: ‘“We’re delighted with how far Leejay and Massimo have come in the competition. We really wish them the best of luck in going for the grand prize, and everyone in the Ashton-under-Lyne store will be rooting for them over the next few weeks.”
The awards were launched by Strictly Come Dancing star and TV personality Oti Mabuse earlier this year. If Leejay and Massimo triumph in their categories, they will meet Oti and rub shoulders with many other celebs at the glitzy awards ceremony at London’s 8 Northumberland Avenue in October.
There are eight categories including a social media winner voted for by the public. All category winners will win a VIP makeover, with one overall winner taking home the ultimate accolade in specs wearing.