A horse shoe maker and semi-professional footballer is hoping he can help his side to an FA Cup giant-killing this weekend as he prepares to take on League One side MK Dons.
Man of many talents Dan Lowton is a farriery student at Myerscough College as well as being first-team goalkeeper for Northern Premier League side Spennymoor Town, who have been drawn away against their illustrious opponents on Saturday.
The 28-year-old has already made his mark on the Emirates FA Cup this season after scoring an 80-yard free-kick in his side’s 5-3 first-round qualifying win over Radcliffe Borough in September.
But you could forgive Dan for taking his eye off the ball, until Friday night at least, as he sits a practical exam at Myerscough just 24 hours before stepping out at Stadium MK.
“As part of my work, I have to go to Myerscough for a three-week block twice a year,” Dan said. “You have an exam at the end of every block — and it happens to be the day before our game.
“I’ll be sweating it out in the forge on Friday. Then I will be driving down from college to Northampton, as we’re staying in a hotel overnight.’’
Dan is studying for an Advanced Apprenticeship in Farriery with Myerscough College, which he is due to complete in 2020.
Dan adds: “I’ve been around horses all my life. My dad has a livery yard and my girlfriend a riding school.
“Farriery is not a normal nine-to-five. On Monday morning, I get up at 4am to get to my approved training farrier) for 7.30am. On a Tuesday night I drive back up to Spennymoor for training or wherever we have a game.
“The mileage I clock up is ridiculous, but that’s the way things have got to be. It’s my first proper job and played at Gretna in Scotland when they were on the rise.
“I’ve played football for a living since then.”
And Dan said he’s been amazed by the reaction to his goal and is hoping his side can get a good result on Saturday.
He said: “Not every keeper gets to score in the FA Cup. It’s pretty cool. I just went to pick out the striker and overshot him. It bounced on the edge of the box, the keeper was off his line and went in.
“It was mental afterwards. I was at a shoemaking competition at a show the day after and got back to my phone to find I had over a thousand notifications.
“People just kept tagging me on Facebook and Twitter. For a full week my phone never stopped. It was crazy how far it went. I have friends who play in America and they were like, ‘You’ve just come on in the telly in the gym’.
“My friend in the Philippines called me up and said, ‘Mate, you’ve just come on the news here’.”
“Hopefully we can cause an upset. They’ve just lost their manager and it’s the FA Cup, so anything can happen.”