Two Scottish electricians set their sights on sporting glory

Chris Liddel

RUNNING a successful electrical business is a full-time job in its own right, but two SELECT members have told of how they juggle the role alongside competing in professional sport.

Michael McKenna and Chris Liddel use their free time to compete in football and boxing respectively.

Chris is set to continue his comeback as a professional boxer this week, following eight years out. The 29-year-old bantamweight won his first bout on the comeback trail in June and now faces his second fight at Glasgow’s Crowne Plaza on September 9.

Chris, who runs 2 Core Electrics in Lanarkshire, said, “I stopped boxing because I was starting my own business and couldn’t commit enough time to it, but things have calmed down a bit since then so I thought I’d give it another go before it’s too late.

“Juggling work and training is hard, but I’m a bit more mature now so I know what’s involved. It’s gruelling but it’s worth it – it’s been absolutely brilliant to get back out there and I was buzzing to win my first comeback fight.

“I don’t want to look too far ahead but I’m setting my sights on a Scottish title. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when, so if you’re a bantamweight, watch out because I’m coming.”

Michael McKenna

Meanwhile, fellow SELECT member Michael has kicked off a new season with Arbroath FC, hoping to go one better than last season, when he helped them to within a whisker of being promoted to Scotland’s top league.

The midfielder, from Edinburgh, scored 15 goals and provided eight assists in 2021-22, becoming the Championship’s top goal scorer and scooping Player of the Year awards from both the Professional Footballers’ Association and the SPFL.

Michael, whose day job is running Musselburgh-based McKenna Electrical Solutions, said, “I loved football as a boy but, when I failed to win a contract at 16, I became an electrician. Since then I’ve worked with some great companies at the same time as playing football and now run my own business. I’ve got three main clients and get involved in all sorts of projects from full house renovations to new builds, kitchens, bathrooms, attic conversions and so on.

“It’s a good balance of work and I’m quite happy with how things are. I enjoy my job and playing part-time for Arbroath and wouldn’t endanger that for a few years of full-time football.”

Alan Wilson, MD of SELECT, added, “We can only take our hats off to these two sporting heroes who are demonstrating in a very tangible way that there is nothing you can’t achieve if you put your mind to it. For most people, running a company would be enough of a challenge – especially an electrical business, which is at the forefront of technological development as the country transitions to net zero.

“Michael and Chris are showing exceptional dedication, determination and skill and we wish them every success as they push themselves towards sporting glory.”