JULIO Garcia, one half of top York hairdressing duo Glen and Julio, has died of cancer at the age of 70.

Mr Garcia died at York Hospital on Monday, with Glen Jackson, his business and civil partner, at his bedside.

"I was able to cuddle him," said a heartbroken Mr Jackson.

The pair, who were both regional, national and international award-winning stylists, retired from their Bishopthorpe Road hairdressing salon, which they had run together for 40 years, in 2015.

By then, they had become York institutions.

Together Glen and Julio, who were both presidents of the York and Yorkshire Hairdressers Federation, had represented Great Britain in the World and European hairdressing championships, winning gold medals in Holland, Germany, Italy and London, as well being named British, Scottish and Welsh champions.

They styled wigs for the former York Waxworks Museum in Friargate, and even appeared in a feature film when, after being employed as technical advisers on the set of Never Better, they impressed the producer so much they were offered minor roles.

After they retired, they moved to a house in Acomb, where they lived with their pet dachshund Sophia.

York Press: Julio Garcia with his pet dachshund SophiaJulio Garcia with his pet dachshund Sophia

"We wanted a quiet retirement together, because we had always worked such long hours," Glen said.

Born in Galicia in 1951, Julio Garcia trained as an accountant and joined a large company in his native Spain.

He and Glen Jackson met when hairdresser Glen visited Spain for a holiday in the early 1970s.

The pair decided they wanted to spend their lives together - but weren't sure where.

"I wanted to live in Spain, but he wanted to come to England!" Mr Jackson said.

Julio got his way. The pair returned to England where, deciding to share Glen’s profession, Julio gave up accountancy and trained with Glen to be a ladies’ hairdresser.

The pair opened the Glen and Julio salon in a former butcher's shop in Bishopthorpe Road in 1975, and went on to train dozens of hairdressers and style thousands of clients, including generations of local families.

They also travelled the world, taking part in international competitions.

"We had a wonderful life together," Mr Jackson said. "He was so lovely, very caring.

"He was like a little boy, but he wasn't. He always used to say, when we went into a competition, 'I'm going to beat you!'. But he didn't - he came second.

"Then suddenly he won a competition, and my God, didn't he tell the 3,000 people in the audience about it!"

After retiring in 2015, the pair - who married in a civil ceremony in Spain - lived quietly at home in Acomb, while continuing to visit Julio’s family in Spain.

Julio became ill with cancer early in the pandemic. He died at York Hospital on Monday with Glen beside him.

He is survived by Glen, and by his father and two sisters and their respective families in Spain.

The funeral service will be in early August, date to be confirmed.

  • Read more tributes to Julio here