November 2014 and February 2015’s Beard of the Month looks magnificent, but will not be with us for long. 32-year-old Cross is a qualified doctor and will soon be switching shin pads for stethoscopes, meaning the beard will have to go.
Until that day, we will enjoy it.
Wikipedia states the beard origin story thus:
“I was at Glasgow for ten weeks last season and I talked to Josh Strauss, and he said, ‘You know, Geoff, you say that after rugby you’re going to work as a medic, and I see you haven’t shaved for a few days – really I don’t think very many people would be happy if they went to a GP practice to talk about their sore back, looking to be reassured, and there was this man with this enormous beard. So really, this is the only time in your life that you’ve got to grow a beard. You should seize that opportunity.”
Geoff Cross’ international debut for Scotland ended prematurely when he spear tackled opponent Lee Byrne. This earned him a yellow card and a ten minute suspension from the game, but he also knocked himself unconscious and injured his knee.
That’s the problem with tackling someone in mid-air, they could well take your head off. Needless to say, the evident lack of facial protection put Cross on his arse and out of action. The beardless fool.
He has since won 37 more caps for Scotland, played over 130 times for Edinburgh and now plays for London Irish.
The great tragedy of this beard is not that it will soon be no more, but that (please excuse me Scottish rugby fans) Scottish rugby union players aren’t usually in the international headlines. If Cross had been a footballer, or a New Zealander this beard would be much more well-known.
When it goes, money will be given to children’s charity Wooden Spoon and at the time of writing stands at just over £6,500 which BeardWatch is proud (but a bit gutted) to support.