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.

Best Beards in Golf

Apart from the legendary Frank Beard, and of course Old Tom Morris, golf for a long time was not considered to be a very beard-worthy sport.

However, there has been something of a changing of the guard of late with beards now becoming a more regular sight in a sport that has been somewhat beard bereft. When beards are involved, it can only be a good thing.

Perhaps if Tiger Woods had grown a beard, he would not have strayed, who can really say? Let’s not beat around the chin bush any more and look at some of the best beards in the world of golf.

Graham DeLaet

Graham Delaet

According to his wife, the man has been growing the beard since the British Open finished in July last year, as he does every year. We think that might be a Canadian thing. He is big news on Twitter thanks to his beard – which is causing division between those who love it and those who thinks he is disrespectful to the game. As if. We salute you, Graham.

There is no big reason behind it – he just wanted to grow a proper beard and decided to watched videos and read guides to find out the best way to do it. However, if he starts winning more, we are sure it is all thanks to the beard.

Boo Weekley

Boo Weekley

Already considered to be one of the more likeable characters of the PGA Tour, Boo Weekley has seen his popularity increase undoubtedly thanks to the massive and full chin bush he has been rocking up to events since the start of 2016.

There is something stunning about Weekley’s beard. It obviously takes a lot of time and maintenance to keep that fine grey beard in such stunning condition. Whether his beard effects his performance or not, remains to be seen.

Joey Garber

Joey Garber

Although Joey Garber is still considered something of a rookie on the Golf Tour, his beard is anything but a rookie’s. It is encouraging to see such a young guy, playing the sport he loves and is rather good at, in a full beard that makes him look like he could easily start work as a lumberjack tomorrow. Mr Garber, keep up the good work.

Shane Lowry

Shane Lowry 3

Shane Lowry is known in the world of golf for having one of the most endearing and friendliest faces, ever. It seems like Lowry has it all right now – winning smile, winning beard and as he seems to be finishing stronger and stronger over the last year – he may be winning all round soon.

Lucas Glover

Lucas Glover 3

To finish our list, we are actually going to pay our respects to one of our fallen. We are talking about Lucas Glover’s gloriously dense and deeply brown beard and sideburns. He has since gotten rid of it and we are sad to see it gone because while he had it, it was one of, if not the best beards in golf.

If you want to shape your beard into something similar, check out

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 August 2015 – Martyn Rooney

Martyn rooney 3

The British 400m runner had a mixed World Championships. He was named Mens Team Captain and ran a new personal best in the heats. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to replicate that speed in the semis and didn’t make the final. He did however have the best beard of any athlete in Beijing and so becomes August’s Beard of the Month.

The final event of the Championships was the 4x400m relay and Rooney was the final runner in a British that always has potential to win a medal. He held his nerve after a strong challenge by the Jamaican team to take Bronze for the team.

2. Martyn RooneyRooney has sported a beard for a few years now and remains an outsider in the running world by letting his grow out and express itself. He is blessed with thick, black foliage and when matched his customary shades, he’s one of the coolest guys on the track.

Martyn rooney 1An obvious choice for captain of any team, he’s got the experience, the talent, but most importantly, the beard. He even missd the birth of his fiorst child to represent Britain in Beijing, but hopefully as his missus, Kate Dennison, was the former British Pole Vault Record Holder, she understood!

Martyn Rooney

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!

Beard of the Month June 2015 – Sean Conway

Sean Conway

Sean Conway is not your typical sportsman. Then again, he’s not your typical man. If we can put the beard aside for just a second (don’t worry, it won’t be long), how many of us have been sick and tired with the daily grind but never done anything about it?

Sean Conway did something about it.

He sold his business and decided adventuring was more his thing. After cycling the world, he decided to become the first person to complete a Britain triathlon. That’s Britain end to end by bike, running and swimming. BeardWatch looked on in awe as he completed his swim, and the triathlon is finally complete with an excellent documentary series on the Discovery channel to boot.

Sean Conway 3Back to the beard (phew). Not only was it grown for obvious sexy reasons, but also to keep jellyfish from stinging his face whilst swimming up the Irish Sea. Now it’s become something of a trademark and we can only hope it stays with him on more crazy adventures.

Sean Conway 2As if that wasn’t enough, he’s also cycled from London to Paris in 24hours, walked from Cheltenham to London for less than £8 a day, cycled to the Alps, and kayaked the Thames. What a hero.

Sean Conway 4

Not an obvious sports beard icon; strictly speaking it might not even be sport in the competitive sense, but his adventures have inspired men and women across Britain to get on their bike, jump in the pool or go out for a run. And grow beards.

Check out his website: and follow on twitter: @Conway_Sean

Innovative Beard Cap Is Created For The Bearded Nation

Having done research, we’re pretty sure this isn’t a wind-up…

Virgin Trains has launched an innovative swim cap for bearded men – the Beard Cap – which will be trialled with customers competing at the Great North Swim, Lake Windermere, June 12 – 14, 2015. The unique Lycra prototype extends down to wrap under the chin and packs the beard against the face to decrease drag whilst swimming. It’s reusable, adjustable and perfect for keeping bushy beards under control.

image001Responding to debates on swimming forums about big beards causing drag, the rail operator and official train partner to the Great North Swim commissioned its own research*. The findings revealed that over one in ten men (12%) connected their beard to slower swim times, and nearly a quarter of men feel their beards hinder their sports performance. This could be because beards are an irritant for some sporting men (11%), a source of discomfort for others (32%) and a distraction for even more (42%).

BeardWatch – See interview with Sports Beard of the Year Will Leer to prove that a beard actually improves performance, statistics be damned.

Also, see adventurer Sean Conway who grew a beard specifically to help him swim better.

Virgin Trains expects the caps to be snapped up, as nearly half (46%) of British men surveyed are now shunning the clean shaved look for something more hairy, and 22% are opting for a big or thick beard. This is despite many (58%) becoming annoyed with their furry faces.

However, it’s not all bad news because over a third of women prefer men with beards (37%) with many women aged 25-34 preferring men with a hairy face (55%), even though some men (29 per cent) find their beards get in the way of kissing.

image002Adrian Varma, Senior Partnerships and Marketing Manager at Virgin Trains, said:

“At Virgin Trains we’re passionate about giving our customers the most awesome experience possible, and this extends to their sporting endeavours as they are travelling to the Great North Swim with us. In addition to the 50 per cent discounted tickets to the event for spectators and competitors, we’re delighted to be offering customers this innovative cap to help them do their best.”

Alex Jackson, event director at Great North Swim said:

“As a newly bearded man, who is also a keen swimmer, I can empathise!  We’re sure our swimmers will appreciate the efforts Virgin Trains has gone to and perhaps the Beard Cap will solve the problem of ‘facial hair-drag’ and encourage more guys to suit up and take the plunge in 2015!”

To find out more information and buy discounted tickets to travel to The Great North Swim visit