Greatest Moustaches in Sport

Ah, Movember. The one month of the year when moustaches are socially (and quite rightly) acceptable in public. There is of course a rich history of sporting moustaches, and BeardWatch profiles the best.

Let’s start with Formula 1, where no moustachioed gentleman has been world champion in over 20 years. The last, in 1992, was Nigel Mansell.

Nigel MansellThe travesty of Formula 1 is that you have to go all the way back to 1968 to find another Mo, and it is perhaps one of the most iconic in sport beard history, Graham Hill.

Graham HillA manicured masterpiece worthy of the big screen. The long flowing hair and bushy sideburns really make this an awe-inspiring moustache. Graham Hill was the first champion to have a top lip warmer in 1962, which he followed up in 1968.

Onto athletics where, like motor racing, iconic moustaches are a bit thin on the ground. However, there is the man who promised to win the 1976 10,000m (and didn’t) and whose image was ripped off (allegedly) for the 118 188 adverts, Dave Bedford.

Dave BedfordThe trademark handlebar stays with him to this day. Another man who has sensibly kept the ‘tache is double Decathlon champion Daley Thompson.

Daley ThompsonWinning 10 events in 2 days in the 1980 and 1984 Olympics have made him a legend and widely regarded as one of the best decathletes of all time, and those guys are pretty hardcore. The moustache kept an even keel on a whirlwind career, helping him to break the world record four times.

Staying on a “greatest ever Olympian” theme, Mark Spitz surely deserves a mention.

Mark SpitzThis moustache has its own Wikipedia section, that’s what a big deal it is. Mark the Shark grew it because his coach said he couldn’t, which is probably the best reason to do anything. It obviously didn’t cause much drag in the water as he won 9 Olympic golds, 7 of them in Munich 1972 where he also set World Records in every event, something no one else has done.

The United States has a decent tradition of moustaches, and now is the time to celebrate the best of the best. Sorry to use the word iconic again, but it must apply to probably the largest owner of a moustache on this page, Hulk Hogan.

Hulk hoganIt’s just always been there, always a part of the look every time he’s reinvented himself. The man’s been wrestling since 1977 for goodness sake, and even in his 60s still pops up with his moustache to kick some ass.

In the world of Baseball, one name has stood out in my research. This is partly because the name is bizarre, but also because he’s a legend of the game – Rollie Fingers.

Rollie FingersAnd that really is his name! Well, it’s Roland, but with those twirly ‘tache tips, Rollie seems far more appropriate. Originally grown to win $300, he eventually turned down the chance to play for the Cincinnati Reds because of their ‘clean-shaven’ policy. Top man.

One of the all time great AFL/NFL moustaches belonged to Ben Davidson.

Ben DavidsonThis fine figure of a man came to American Football late in his teens as, at 6’8″, he preferred basketball. He was an AFL all-star three times, and it’s poignant to point out that he died on 2012 from Prostate Cancer, and Movember is carried out for people like Ben and his family to change the face of men’s health.

In Ice Hockey, one of the great moustache mavericks is George Parros.

George ParrosHe may look mean, but that moustache and hair cover his warm and cuddly side. ‘George Parros Mustaches’ are sold by his former team the Anaheim Ducks, with proceeds going to charity. Parros also had a line of apparel called “Stache Gear” that benefited the ‘Garth Brooks Teammates For Kids’ Foundation. If that weren’t enough, he cuts his hair once a year and donates it to a charity that makes wigs for kids who have lost their hair due to a medical condition. Badass, but in a totally different and amazing way.

Back in Europe, football is still a pretty big deal. In England, the golden moustache age was the 80s and 90s with many great examples such as Graeme Souness and Brian Kilcline typical of the shaggy haired, hirsute, halcyon days.Soccer - Football League Division One - Tottenham Hotspur v MiddlesbroughWhile Souness continues a living legend in Liverpool, Kilcine’s career never quite reached the same heights. He’s pictured above in an England tracksuit, but only played twice for the Under 21s. Meaning he must have been under 21 in that photo. Good lord…

If there are ever mavericks in a football team, you can be sure it’ll probably be the goalkeeper, and as such, there’s a fine tradition of ‘stached stoppers.

Bruce GrobbelaarTwo of the finest examples are David Seaman and Bruce Grobelaar. Seaman was the Arsenal and England number one for over a decade and the trademark tache and flowing locks were ever present, but often played second fiddle to some horrendous 90s kits. Bruce ‘Spaghetti Legs’ Grobelaar had a long career spanning Liverpool’s 80s dominance and the Zimbabwean always sported his moustache proudly.

Possibly the greatest ever football moustache belonged to the little known Dutch captain Ronald Spelbos.Soccer - World Cup Qualifier - Group Two - Ireland v HollandFor sheer commitment to the moustache, this has to be up there with the greatest ever.

Football’s been getting on board with Movember in recent years, and whilst Joey Barton often gets the attention, I believe the greatest one month moustache belonged to Grant Holt.

Grant HoltThe Norwich City legend grew this in the season they returned to Premier League football in 2011. A true captain’s effort.

In terms of girth and manliness, we finish with cricket. Don’t believe me? Check these out:

Graham GoochSome classic Graham Gooch, England captain, their all time record run scorer and one of the greatest cricketers in history. His incredible career was accompanied by this mighty mo.

David BoonBut it’s to Australia we finish our top lip tickling tour. David Boon batted for Australia for 11 years, and has become something of an Aussie cult figure, no doubt in part to this magnificent droopy little number.

Merv HughesIn the same Australian side that the ingeniously nicknamed ‘Boony’ played in, another even greater moustache featured. Merv Hughes was always a big man, despite his lengthy and somewhat ‘mincing’ bowling run ups. Regardless, his humongous handlebar made ‘Merv the Swerve’ unmissable. His other nickname, incidentally, was ‘Fruitfly’ which was eventually explained as a reference to “Australia’s greatest national pest”, due to his colourful language addressing the opposition on the field.

 

And there we have the greatest moustaches in world sport. If you know of a greater moustache that deserves a mention, leave a comment or tweet @SportBeardWatch

Beard of the Month – October 2014

The winner is…

Fetu’u Vainikolo

Fetu'u VainokoloAnd why wouldn’t he look so pleased with this fuzzy wonder nestled on his chin? The Exeter Chiefs and Tonga winger blasted his way to victory and stands as ideal preparation for his upcoming international duties. Vainikolo is in the squad for fixtures against Georgia, the USA and Scotland where his beard will be up against stiff competition.

Fetu'u Vainokolo 3

Fetu'u Vainokolo 2

The runners up:

Fernando Alonso, Spanish F1 Driver

Fernando Alonso 2The stylish Spaniard is a two-time Formula One World Champion and is now possibly the best bearded F1 driver on the circuit. The extra chin protection seems to be distracting him however, having only claimed two podium finishes so far this season.

Jordie Benn, Canadian Ice Hockey Player

Jordie BennIn Canada, they play hockey, but on ice. Who knew? There’s plenty of hirsute candidates but this is the one that caught the eye this month. Jordie Benn plays for the Dallas Stars and, wait… They have Ice Hockey in Dallas? That’s like beach volleyball in Alaska. Weird. Anyway, Jordie sports a glamorous ginger beard to keep him warm on the ice.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, American American Football Quarterback

Ryan FitzpatrickStaying on the left side of the Atlantic, yet another behemoth bearded American Footballer demands your attention. During his time with the Buffalo Bills, he was given the nicknames “Fitzmagic” and “The Amish Rifle”. He was also named as the fifth-smartest athlete in the USA in 2010. He’s now almost certainly one of the manliest.

 

Beard of the Month – September 2014

The winner is…

James Tomlinson

James TomlinsonThis bearded beauty helped Hampshire lift the division two trophy after bagging 6 wickets against Glamorgan on the final day of the season. Something of a fans favourite, he took time to sign pictures and pose for photos. Sorry James, it’s just the beard we’re interested in. Very interested.

James Tomlinson 2 James Tomlinson 3

Runners up

Ben Hamer, Football

Ben HamerBen Hamer made his Premier League debut for Leicester City this month and introduced a serious challenge to Tim Howard in the Bearded Goalkeepers Union. He kept a clean sheet against Stoke and we can only hope he makes more appearances.

Joe Ledley, Football

Joe LedleyI’d entirely missed the fact that Joe Ledley had moved from Celtic to Crystal Palace, and in fact played a key role in keeping Palace in the Premier League, and scoring against boyhood club Cardiff which helped relegate them. Heartless man. Heartless but beardful, which is a decent compromise.

Shane Lowry, Golf

British Open GolfLowry was considered a wildcard for Europe’s Ryder Cup team, but missed out due to blatant jealousy and pogonophobia from countryman Paul McGinley. Undeterred, he led the ISPS Handa Wales Open at the halfway stage and ended up fourth.

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