Euro 2016 Bearded XI

What a tournament! One thing you can rely on these European types for is a decent selection of beards.

However, BeardWatch does not need his soon-to-be-cancelled EU passport to find the Beard of the Tournament, because that is Wales’ very own Joe Ledley!

The big Welshman now looks bang on for Beard of the Year, unless something bizarre and drastic happens. Not even breaking his leg could keep him out of the Welsh squad, THAT’s what a beard can do for you.

The Euro Bearded XI is an attacking 3-5-2 affair, as three bearded men at the back is you really need.


Matúš Kozáčik, Slovakia

The goalkeeper department was a little thin on the ground, and Kozáčik wins out over Northern Ireland’s Alan Mannus because he actually played.


Juanfran, Spain

Juanfran has the cold dead eyes of a killer, and a beard so dense and dark that it creates conditions similar to a black hole close to its surface.

Sergio Ramos, Spain

For all Spain’s attacking skill and flair, when it comes to penalties, this is the man they call up. That’s because power > skill any day, and a gingery beard on a Spaniard means that Sergio can take the flack.

Mërgim Mustafë Mavraj, Albania

Proving it’s not just the big names that make the Euro Bearded XI, Mavraj played well for the suspiciously under-bearded Albanians.


Jimmy Durmaz, Sweden

This is a beard that could go places, but just two appearances for Sweden means he mostly went unnoticed. His dual Swedish and Turkish heritage can only be a good thing for a beard.

Daniele De Rossi, Italy

I mentioned Juanfran’s cold dead eyes, and I rather think Daniele’s eyes are just as deadly, but would seriously enjoy it. A bearded veteran and favourite of BeardWatch easily makes the final XI.

Joe Ledley (c), Wales

What more needs to be said about Joe Ledley’s beard? Just look at it.


Aron Gunnarsson, Iceland

HUH! ….. HUH! Both the sound of Iceland’s now famous chant, as well as the noise you’d make if Aron Gunnarsson strolled past you on his way to the shops to buy a twix. A serious contender for Beard of the Tournament, and can take the armband if Ledley breaks his leg again.

Stuart Dallas, Northern Ireland

Stuart Dallas had a great run with a plucky Northern Irish side, and this terrific beard played a good part in that. Went out to Joe Ledley’s Wales, and there’s no shame in that.


Olivier Giroud, France

Scored the first goal of the tournament for France which shut up a lot of the haters that Olivier seems to have because he doesn’t score 60 goals a season. Led the French attack brilliantly, great shape and decent length.

Gareth Bale, Wales

OK, OK, I’m jumping on the Welsh bandwagon. Bale is clawing his way up to the very top table of football, and let’s at least applaud his effort to look like a proper man. If he keeps scoring, we’ll keep claiming him.


Roy Keane, Republic of Ireland

Technically an Assistant Manager, but it’s pretty obvious who’s pulling the strings. As if he wasn’t scary enough anyway, Roy Keane is a man never to be messed with.

How do you rate this Bearded XI? Join the #BeardWatch on twitter and post your favourite sports beards.

Premier League Bearded XI 2015-16

Joe Ledley 7

The Premier League Beard of the Year is Joe Ledley!

It’s been a massive year for Joe Ledley’s beard. Many said it couldn’t last, that it was unkempt, that it has small animals living inside it.

These things may all be true, but while it’s here let’s all sit back and enjoy the show. Currently rated 50:50 if he’ll be fit enough for the Euros, so keep your beards crossed!

Joe Ledley 8Joe Ledley 9

Ledley breaks the Beard of the Year pattern as the first outfield player to be awarded, following Ben Hamer and Tim Howard.

This season has shown something of a renaissance in Premier League beards after last year’s disappointing selection.


Tim Howard, Everton

Back in goal for the Bearded XI, but short of his former glory. This was Howard’s last season in the Premier League and BeardWatch will be sad to see him go. Perhaps his move to MLS will be the catalyst American football needs?


James Collins,West Ham

I’ve always got a soft spot for a ginger beard, and this might be just as ginger as they come.

Nicolas Otamendi,Man City

This finely manicured beast has won plaudits across Manchester, and has been kept looking at it’s best to strike fear into his opponents.

Mile Jedinak, Crystal Palace

Dropping into defence as cover, Mile has had another fine season at Palace. The beard is still big and bushy and can do a solid job at the back.


Cesc Fabregas, Chelsea

Not an ever-present this season, but a very welcome sight when it’s poked itself out. Perhaps it’s Cesc’s way of keeping himself warm on those cold, wet Wednesday nights at Stoke…

Joe Allen, Liverpool

Look at little Joe, all happy to have a beard! Unfortunately, it may not last as he’s vowed to chop it all off if he scores in the Europa League final… C’mon Sevilla!

Joe Ledley (c), Crystal Palace

This is a beard that’s gone from strength to strength and rightly takes its place at the top.


Sandro, West Brom

The only ever-present beard in the Premier League Bearded XI, Sandro diligently moved on loan to West Brom to ensure his place was secure.


Olivier Giroud, Arsenal

He’s had his best season at Arsenal since joining, which can entirely be attributed to this beard. Obviously.

Diego Costa, Chelsea

It’s fair to say Chelsea have had their problems this season, and many pundits have commented on their lack of commitment. This is evident with Costa and Fabregas only teasing us with little flashes of beard before cruelly snatching them away.

Emmanuel Adebayor, Crystal Palace

A third entry for Crystal Palace making them the beardiest team of the year. Rock solid effort from Adebayor.


Quique Sanchez Flores, Watford

Last year’s best bearded manager was Sean Dyche (SEAN DYCHE ffs) so thank goodness for this sexy, sexy Dr House-a-like. Watford ditched him despite keeping them up and playing above expectations. More beard discrimination no doubt.

Beard of the Month July 2015 – Joe Ledley

Joe Ledley 4The new saviour of Welsh football. No, not Gareth Bale…

Ledley’s beard has been in development for a while , but is now truly reaching great heights.

Joe Ledley 2

He can pull off cool and stylish…Joe-LedleyOr rugged and active. Basically, the man has it all.

Ledley was a key part of a Wales team that beat Belgium in a European Championships Qualifier and helped Crystal Palace to an amazing 11th place finish in the Premier League.Joe Ledley 3He’s even got time to be a family man and show off hats.

And in true legendary status, his beard has it’s own twitter account. Follow @JoeLedleysBeard!

Premier League Bearded XI 2014-15

Ben Hamer

It’s a shocker at the top as Leicester City’s Ben Hamer is officially the Premier League Beard of the Year!

Ben Hamer 3 Ben Hamer 4



Hamer beats last year’s winner Tim Howard by a whisker, but continues the fine tradition of bearded goalkeepers.

This year’s list is very much a bottom of the table affair with only 2 players from the so-called ‘big clubs’. This shows pogonophobia at the highest level obviously prevalent. Only one survivor from last year’s XI shows the sad transience of many a beard taken before their prime…


Ben Hamer, Leicester City (c)

Long and thick. Just the way I like them. On the verge of being straggly, but does just enough to keep its volume. The extra protection is just what a goalkeeper needs, and, frankly, should be adopted by more to avoid serious injury.



Marcin Wasilewski, Leicester City

Bigger isn’t always better (apparently). This is a straight talking, no-nonsense kind of beard that adds to the imposing figure of Wasilewski.

Nathan Baker, Aston Villa

I must admit, this one was a bit under my beard radar. Clearly influenced by Villa Legend Olof Mellberg, Baker let this beast grow out to strike fear into strikers.

Armand Traore, QPR

A fine bushy number from the Frenchmen, who is clearly not at fault for QPR’s relegation. Sad he should be let down by his smooth faced team-mates.

Gael Clichy, Man City

An experienced player who has wisely chosen to grow a beard in the hopes of enlightening others on big money to follow suit.


Aaron Ramsey, Arsenal

Ramsey is another proving it’s not just the bottom half that gets to have all the fun.

Joe Ledley, Crystal Palace

A highly popular beard, and one that will be disappointed to play second fiddle to Ben Hamer. A good solid beard, thick and meaty.

Sandro, QPR

The only survivor from last year. We haven’t seen a return of the front pony tail, but it’s bigger and meaner and getting relegated…

Mike Jedinak, Crystal Palace

Captain of club and country, and has single-beardedly given Crystal Palace a fantastic season.


Steven Fletcher, Sunderland

The Scot adds a little substance to what is frankly a despicable lack of front man facial foliage across the Premier League. Surely with the prevailing tendency to play one up top, strikers would grow a beard to keep themselves company whilst ploughing that lone furrow.

Danny Ings, Burnley

A good season means Ings may be off a big club (Not that he looks pleased about it here). We can only hope he doesn’t get star-struck and led astray by some smooth faced bad influence.


Sean Dyche (Interim)

Oh Premier League I’m disappointed with you. The only bearded manager to survive this far in the season is a ginger goatee. This job will be up for review after the final game, and we’ll hope to get a big name in over the summer.

For more sports beard updates, follow @SportBeardWatch on twitter!

Top 5 Hipster Beards in Football

Brought to you by Bet365

The popularity of male facial hair has sky rocketed these past couple of years. Long gone are the days when having a beard was reserved to those who were members of the hipster community; i.e., anyone who lived in Shoreditch.

Alongside baggy Adidas sweat tops and New Balance trainers, the beard has left the known realm of the alternative and has firmly headed for the mainstream, which is by no means a bad thing.

Beard love right now is at a fever pitch, with more and more people opting to let their facial hair grow out. What may have started as a shaving hangover from Movember has now turned into a full blown craze.

When one does think about beards you almost certainly think towards musicians or perhaps actors. The classic Paul McCartney during his time with The Beatles was certainly close to the zenith of facial hair excellence. However, much like how beards themselves have left their social surroundings in society, it is no longer musicians and new-age actors who get to revel in the warm glow of facial hair perfection. Moreover, we are now seeing a rise of beards on the football pitch, which is a particularly good thing.

There are more and more players nowadays taking the plunge and allowing themselves to grow a beard, despite the intense media glare that is fixated on them every weekend. It takes great commitment to a cause to be willing to play football in front of millions of eyes with a beard that is still in the formative stages of growth.

Beard growing is perhaps one of the only times you can tilt your cap to a footballer and give them your respect, for we all know about the demands of a beard. But which five footballers have the best beards in the game?

Raul Meireles – Fenerbahce

Raul Meireles - Bet365

If there was to be a generic football hipster it would be Raul Meireles. The former Liverpool midfielder is undoubtedly the man. When the tattoos – which cover nearly every part of his body – stop, you reach the facial hair, which for a time was nearly reaching his pectorals.

Meireles was an advocate of the noted bald head and bolder beard look for most of 2014, but has started 2015 with a Mohawk look; again another popular hipster image.

As for the beard itself, Meireles is a man of fortune who can grow an exceedingly thick beard. He managed to get superb volume and bounce on his facial hair while the precision in the styling of it is something that can only be achieved by a nicely-paid stylist.

While Portuguese team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo may have won World Player of the Year, he will be the first to admit that Meireles is out there on his own when it comes to facial hair. The world’s best player and the world’s best beard will be in action together next month when Portugal take on Serbia in the European qualifiers, with the odds for that match now available with bet365.

Raul Meireles - Bet365 2Josh Brillante – Fiorentina

Josh Brillante - Bet365 2

Let us start off by first giving credence to this young Australian’s name. Unsurprisingly, the 21-year-old has a beard to match his name.

It is a beard that is very much Australian outback in style. It is unkempt, slightly bedraggled and altogether massive. For those familiar with WWE wrestler Daniel Bryan and his beard; Brillante looks like his younger brother, a brother who at times is willing to wear a top-knot.

Brillante has that slightly deranged-looking beard. A wild-man’s beard. The type of beard that would bite you for just looking at it funny, making it perfect for a football pitch.

George Boyd – Burnley

George Boyd - Bet365

Boyd plays for Burnley, a side that is just like Boyd’s beard, they are alright. There are those days when both are on fine form, sending both compliments and goals flying. But just as numerous as the good days are the bad days, in which the football is lacklustre and the facial hair is looking a bit thin on the ground.

The Scot is a good example for how far the beard has come in certain areas of society. Boyd is not a hipster. He doesn’t care about places like Camden or who the next Pete Doherty is. He is a lad who has worked his way up from non-league football to the Premier League. He is a grafter and that is very much reflected in his beard. He has laid the foundations, now he just needs to build on them.

George Boyd - Bet365 2Tim Howard – Everton

Tim Howard - bet365

Fair does to Tim Howard, he committed to his beard and my word doesn’t he look all the better for it. The Everton goalkeeper has the previously mentioned bald head phat beard vibe.

Here is a man who almost single-handedly took America to the quarter-finals of the World Cup. He is a stopper, a behemoth of a man and thus it is only right he has the facial hair of a warrior knight from the 16th Century.

Howard’s beard has a really nice colouring which compliments his natural skin tone, but away from the pretentious talk it is simply a sick beard. Whilst the 35-year-old may have struggled with injuries in the past, one thing has remained; his exquisite beard.

Tim Howard - Bet365 2Andrea Pirlo – JuventusImage Flickr NazionaleCalcio

The Italian midfielder is not far off perfection. He is the man that everyone woman wants to be with and every man wants to be. Regardless of his beard, Pirlo just oozes cool. Here is a footballer that has no problem drinking wine and eating cheese the night before a match. Speaking of playing, there are few that can do what Pirlo can do on the pitch, which is achieve brilliance whilst seemingly looking like you are doing nothing.

Here is a player who is very content with his football career and it shows with his beard. His thick, black, matted facial hair conjoins perfectly with the longer hair that sprouts from his head, giving Pirlo a slightly untamed looked. In fact, you could go as far as saying that thanks to the facial hair’s marriage to Pirlo’s natural hair, the midfielder’s look is the perfect melange of rough-and-ready and Italian chic.

Pirlo 2

Iwan Roberts – Beard of the Month January 2015

The big man is a legend to many of his former clubs including Huddersfield, Wolves, Leicester and Norwich, and they’ve paid him back by voting him as Beard of the Month.

Roberts has been seen punditing his way around Wales recently sporting a truly magnificent bushy ginger beard in stark contrast to his neat cropped hair. He’s always had a…

Iwan Roberts toothless…let’s say ‘distinctive‘ look during his playing days, but I think we can all agree that this beard marks his peak.

Iwan Roberts 6Here he showing BBC colleague and former Welsh striker John Hartson how it’s done.

Iwan Roberts 2Iwan Roberts 3


Iwan Wyn Roberts (born 26 June 1968 in Bangor, Gwynedd) is a Welsh former international footballer who played as a striker from 1986 to 2006. Since retiring, he has worked as a sports commentator.

Roberts notably played in the Premier League for Leicester City and Norwich City, as well as earning 15 caps for Wales. He also played in the Football League for Watford, Huddersfield Town, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Gillingham and Cambridge United. Local Norwich football newspaper The Pink’un described him as “one of the greatest goal scorers ever to pull on a Norwich City shirt” and he was elected to the Norwich City F.C. Hall of Fame.

Since retiring as a player, Roberts, who speaks fluent Welsh, has worked as a commentator for Sky Sports, Radio Cymru and BBC Wales.

For more sport beard news, follow @SportBeardWatch on twitter!

Sports Beard of the Year 2014 Winner

The winner is by public vote is…

Will Leer

Will Leer 3

Photo by Andy Kiss/Cloud 259 Photo

And here’s Leer breaking the metaphoric tape of the inaugural Sports Beard of the Year. (Unmetaphorically, he’s winning the Wanamaker Mile back in February)

He enjoyed a huge amount of support in the voting from various running magazines, fellow athletes and the USA Track and field team tweeted their support.

The 29 year old is an American middle-distance runner from Minnetonka, Minnesota and has been enjoying a great year running 1500m and the mile.

Click here to read BeardWatch’s exclusive interview with the man himself.

Here’s more Leer Beard:

Will Leer 4

Will after winning the 2014 Morton Mile in a new meet record of 3:51.82


The 2014 World Indoor Championships, where Leer placed 6th in the 1500m

Will Lear

After finishing 2nd in the USA Indoor Track And Field Championships 2014 (3:43.21)

2014 IAAF World Relays

The 2014 World Relay Championships

And just for fun, here’s a glorious moustache:

Will Leer moustache2nd place:

Stuart Sinclair

Stuart Sinclair 2A hero at Bristol Rovers, who are appropriately nicknamed the Pirates, and the Best British Beard.Stuart Sinclair 3Stuart SinclairStuart Sinclair 4

3rd place

Davide Moscardelli

Davide Moscardelli 2A late surge for Davide secured 3rd place. One of the most sculpted and stylish beards on the list would be a fine addition to any bearded team.

Davide Moscardelli Davide Moscardellimoscardelli-570-1Davide Moscardelli subbuteo