Beard of the Month – August 2014

The winner is…

Stuart Sinclair

Stuart Sinclair 2

The Gasheads were out in force to vote their man as Beard of the Month. He may not be the biggest name in the biggest club, but Bristol Rovers fans love this man’s beard.

Stuart Sinclair 3 Stuart Sinclair

Runners up

Tamas Kazi, Hungarian Runner

Tamas KaziThis Hungarian 800m runner popped up in the European Athletics Championships, made it to the semi finals, did ok but got no further. Upon further examination, badass status can pretty much be confirmed from this photo alone.

Roy Keane, Irish Football Manager

Roy KeaneSpeaking of badass, Roy Keane made his return to the Premiership, albeit as assistant to Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert. If they do the old good cop, bad cop routine, I’m reasonably sure which Roy will be.

Damon Kelly, Australian Weightlifter

1. Damon KellyWinner of the Best Beard at the Commonwealth Games, Kelly made a huge impression on bearded sport worldwide. Power sports have long been associated with power beards, and this fuzzy number was no exception.

 

The Top 10 Beards of the Commonwealth Games

The Commonwealth Games has been a fantastic opportunity to do some hipster sportwatching. Where else could you say “Did you spot Cyprus v Guernsey last night in the Lawn Bowls? Amazing game.”

The same is true for the noble art of beardwatching. Some wonderful and lesser known beards have been spotted and enjoyed, but it must be said most seem to come from the larger nations. Perhaps the smaller nations haven’t got the budget for beard husbandry which is a big shame.

Before we start the top ten, honourable mentions to Welsh Captain Aled Davies, English squashist Daryl Selby, Cypriot hammer thrower Konstadinos Stathelakos and maybe one for the future Tom Daley:
Aled-DaviesDaryl-SelbyKonstadinos-StathelakosTom-Daley

10. Sir Bradley Wiggins

10. Bradley Wiggins
The English cyclist was famous for his sideburns, but has grown up and moved on to a very classy beard. A new beard icon.

9. Kurt Fearnley

9. Kurt FearnleyThe only thing close to competition for the all-conquering David Weir in the T54 category.The Aussie is obviously enjoying Glasgow and getting into the spirit with a ginger beard.

8. Craig Maclean

8. Craig MacleanThe only entry in the top ten for the home nation. Craig Maclean was the ‘pilot’ cyclist for visually impaired Neil Fachie in the tandem sprint. Though, looking at the two of them together, you’d have to assume Maclean was most of the engine too…

7. Nickel Ashmeade

7. Nickel AshmeadeThe Jamaican took bronze in the 100m which makes him the fastest beard on the track. Also had the responsibility of handing the baton to Usain Bolt in the relay. With great beard comes great responsibility.

6. Ben Gregory

6. Ben GregoryWelshman Gregory finished 5th in the decathlon, making his beard arguably the most multi-talented at the games.

5. Jason Morgan

5. Jason MorganMorgan was the big entertainer in the discus competition. The Jamaican finished third and danced his way around the track to celebrate. Fantastically round and beefy beard.

4. Julian Wruck

4. Julian WruckThe Aussie discus man shed 17 kilos in the 6 weeks before the games after realising that bigger is not always better. Luckily, he learnt the opposite is true for beards and grew this monster to compensate.

3. DJ Forbes

3. DJ ForbesDJ Forbes may be remembered in New Zealand as the captain who lost their first ever Commonwealth Rugby 7s game, in the final. Real sports fans will remember him for his mighty captain’s beard.

2. Martyn Rooney

2. Martyn RooneyThe English runner is the epitome of style running in wrap around shades and a thick, black beard. It obviously doesn’t cause much drag despite its obvious density, and saw Rooney to 4th in the 400m.

1. Damon Kelly

1. Damon KellyKelly took bronze in the 105kg weightlifting with an astonishing 388kg in his two lifts. However, the big Australian can be proud of having the very best beard in the Commonwealth Games.

1. Damon Kelly 2

Beard of the Month – July 2014

The winner is:

Kane Richardson

Kane RichardsonA decisive win for the Aussie with the 6 month old beard. The Rajasthan Royals man made his international debut in January 2013 and was stopped bowling by the umpire for repeatedly running on the pitch. The beard has obviously been grown to prevent future umpires arguing with him.

His twitter profile bio simply states “Father to a 6 month old beard”.

Kane Richardson 2Kane Richardson 3Kane Richardson 4

The Runners Up

DJ Forbes, New Zealand – Rugby 7s

DJ Forbes

Luca Paolini, Italy – Cycling

Cycling: 105th Milan - Sanremo 2014

Martyn Rooney

Martyn Rooney

Beard World Cup Final

Groups A & B
Groups C & D
Groups E & F
Groups G & H
Second Round
Quarter Finals
Semi Final

Cameroon 1 – 3 Greece

Greece are the World Beard Champions!

One of the big favourites didn’t disappoint against surprise opponents Cameroon who have done magnificently to get this far.

First of all a mention to Cameroon, who qualified top of their group ahead of the hosts and went on the run of their lives to reach the final. Their star player was goalkeeper Itandje. A fine, strong beard accentuated by short hair that saved the Indomitable Lions on many occasions.
Itandje 2Cameroon's goalkeeper Charles Itandje at

But Greece had a strength in depth that no one else could match. Whilst there were better individual stand out beards elsewhere in the tournament, as a team, Greece simply couldn’t be beaten, with plenty of beards on the bench to back them up.
Greece 2 Greece's football squad

Greece often started games with 5 or 6 beards on the pitch, something no other team could match.

Led well from the front by captain Georgios Samaras, he recieved plenty of support from the likes of bad-boy Panagiotis Kone, the streamlined Dimitrios Salpingidis, the tidy Ioannis Maniatis, the sexy Orestis Karnezis, the fuzzy Konstantinos Mitroglou, the short Konstantinos Katsouranis and the vaguely frightening Georgios Tzavelas.
Samaras 2
Panagiotis Kone 2SalpingidisIoannis ManiatisFBL-WC-2014-GRE-PRESSERKonstantinos Mitroglou 2Konstantinos KatsouranisGeorgios Tzavelas

Beard World Cup Semi Finals

Groups A & B
Groups C & D
Groups E & F
Groups G & H
Second Round
Quarter Finals
Semi Finals
Final

Cameroon 1 – 0 Italy

Most pundits thought Cameroon had done fantastically well to get this far, but to beat one of the favourites have made people sit up and take notice. This Cameroon team is the real deal, and who could have predicted that before the tournament? The Italians are one of the all time great beardy teams, still a long way to go to beat their rugby counterparts, but very entertaining led of course by the big man Andrea Pirlo and his stylish sexy beard.

Pirlo 2

Spain 1 – 2 Greece (aet)

Huge game in the Beard World Cup semi-finals as two more hirsute heavyweights go head to head. Spain are of course famous for their classy beard game, keeping it short and simple and not letting the opponent get a look in. Contrast that with the brash, aggressive Greek beards and you’ve got a great game. After going behind early, the Greeks dug in, got a late equaliser which destroyed the Spanish self beard belief and went on to score the winner in injury time. Xabi Alonso will not be happy to retire without one last trophy.

Xabi Alonso 3The final:

Cameroon vs Greece

Beard World Cup Quarter Finals

Groups A & B
Groups C & D
Groups E & F
Groups G & H
Second Round
Quarter Finals
Semi Finals
Final

USA 0 – 1 Greece

USA Training & Press Conference - 2014 FIFA World CupPanagiotis KoneThe biggest match of the tournament so far. Huge support from the USA flocked to wherever it is that this theoretical Beard World Cup is taking place. Tim Howard led the team from the back, with Jones and Beckerman providing fantastic support. However, it wasn’t enough to break down the Greeks who ground out a narrow victory. USA have plenty to be proud of, and will be aiming for the semis in four years time.

Italy 3 – 2 Bosnia

Andrea BarzagliNigeria v Bosnia-Herzegovina: Group F - 2014 FIFA World Cup BrazilNo-one expected Bosnia, led by Medunjanin, to get this far, with most pundits unable to name a single bearded Bosnian before the tournament. Unfortunately, against the pedigree of Italy they just couldn’t get ahead. The plucky Balkan squad counter attacked brilliantly to equalise twice but Italy always looked in control.

Cameroon 2 – 0 Iran

Alexandre SongdejagahThese teams had very different second round matches, and the extra time and penalties against Switzerland really took its toll on Iran. Cameroon, barely out of second gear breezed past the likes of Dejagah to reach the semi finals. The Indomitable Lions are starting to be tipped as potential winners…

Portugal 1 – 4 Spain

MeirelesPiqueThe Iberian Derby that everyone was looking forward to ended up being a bit of a whitewash for the Spanish. Other than a stunning solo goal from many people’s Beard of the Tournament Raul Meireles, the Spanish never looked troubled and scored for fun.

Beard World Cup Second Round

Groups A & B
Groups C & D
Groups E & F
Groups G & H
Second Round
Quarter Finals
Semi Final
Final

It’s knockout time in the Beard World Cup, this is where things get serious.

Cameroon 4 -0 The Netherlands
Benoit Assou Ekoto, CameroonDaley Blind, Netherlands

Plenty of depth to the Cameroonian side see them comfortably through. The Netherlands had a few lightly bearded players, but without a star player to rely on were always going out early.

Brazil 1 – 2 Spain

Fred, BrazilSergio Ramos, Spain

Spain, despite not being at their best, still manage to overcome the hosts causing riots, and barbers to be attacked in the streets. Luis Gustavo’s moustache encapsulated the sexy image of Brazil, but not to be outdone, Fred weighed in with this effort.

Greece 4 – 0 England

FBL-WC-2014-GRE-PRESSERLuke Shaw

You don’t want to face Greece this early in a beard tournament, and true to form they, including Karnezis, were relentless against England who relied almost solely on youngsters Lallana and 18-year-old Luke Shaw.

Ivory Coast 2 -3 Italy (aet)

DrogbaFBL-WC-2014-ITA-PRESS

A closer game than most pundits predicted, but Ivory Coast’s over-reliance on goatees left them exhausted after 90 minutes and the Italians, with Daniele De Rossi, managed to stylishly claim the victory. Didier Drogba a massive fuzzy highlight.

Switzerland 2 – 2 Iran (Iran win 5-3 on penalties)

haghighiMehmedi
Switzerland were a big surprise package and flew in under the radar. They battled valiantly through the group stages with Mehmedi and Behrami’s bad boy beards, but ultimately the experience and strength in depth of the Iranians just barely overcame them.

Bosnia & Herzegovina 3 – 1 France

Benzema

An entertaining ding-dong battle between two teams making the most of what they had. France’s over reliance on the bizarre hair/beard combo of Benzema proved to be their undoing. Bosnia surprisingly strong with Kolasinac popping up with a decider in injury time.

USA 2 – 1 Algeria

Jermaine JonesMbolhi

An even game throughout, but the rather shallow beards of the Algerians let them down in the end. Goalkeeper M’Bolhi badly let down by his defence allowing the USA to control the game.

Portugal 1 – 0 Belgium (aet)

AlmeidaSteven Defour

Portugal managed to block out every Belgian attack playing a negative game, even from the likes of Steven Defour, as the sheer creepiness of Hugo Almeida’s moustache kept them at bay. Belgium played valiantly, but we get the feeling 2018 will be their tournament.

 

The quarter final draw:

USA v Greece

Italy v Bosnia

Cameroon v Iran

Portugal v Spain