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

BeardWatch speaks to Will Leer

The 2014 Sport Beard of the Year Winner was good enough to take some time out of his gruelling schedule of running and grooming to speak to us about his beard.

BW When did you start growing your beard and why?
WL As Beard 2.0 is currently in the works, I imagine you are referring to the beard which won me this prestigious honor, for brevity’s sake we’ll call it Beard 1.0 or B1. B1 came about in the wake of shaving off my mustache in September 2013. My girlfriend, bless her soul, had never seen me clean-shaven so at the end of my 2013 competitive season I agreed to remove the lip sweater. After a few weeks of looking like a respectable 20-something I began to feel an indescribable urge for change. As the preceding month was Octobeard, it seemed as good of a reason as any to start growing B1.

BW Do you feel your beard enhances your performance?
WL Absolutely. Very few of my athletic achievements have come about in the absence of facial hair. It took until this past season to realize the beard was my secret power source.

BW Do you have any tips for growing and maintaining your beard?
WL As the popular internet meme of my good friend, John Jefferson, emphasized, patience is a key ingredient to any successful beard.
Women should date men with beards because growing a beard takes patience. The kind of patience it takes to deal with your shit.WL Another key is support. Surround yourself with people who think positively about facial hair and will not try to derail your beard growing endeavors.

As far as maintenance is concerned one must exercise caution and care.  It is well-known that the growing process for facial hair is slow and tedious, so when shaping your beard you cannot get too overzealous with the shears. I try to make short, precise trimmings and work towards and ideal look/length rather than bold chops with regrettable results.

BW Track running isn’t known for beards, why do you think this is?
WL Some would argue beards function as wind sails and are aerodynamically inefficient. It is primarily a result of this misinformation that beards are not popular in the world of athletics.

BW What other sports beards do you look to for inspiration?
WL I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the indefatigable beard of Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Brian Wilson. The power he surely derives from his beard and the fear it puts into his opponents is truly incredible. It is one of the great wonders of the sporting world.

In the world of athletics, Martyn Rooney is a beard stalwart. While wavering in length throughout the season, its presence is always felt and appreciated by fans and competitors alike.

Thanks Will, we look forward to following B2 in the 2015 Athletics season!

Remember to 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

will-lear-2

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

Sports Beard of the Year 2014

Beard-of-the-Year-2014Here we are, the inaugural Sport Beard of the Year (#SBOTY2014). Below are the Beard of the Month winners from BeardWatch’s first 13 months, and it’s up to you to vote for the overall winner. Some beards may no longer be with us, or be at their glorious best, but your sound judgement will vote the one that had the greatest impact for the promotion of beards throughout sport.

So stroke your beard in deep thought and ponder the following Beard of the Month winners…

Voting is closed! Winner announced at 9pm GMT.

 

Tim Howard

November 2013 – American – Football

Tim HowardInspirational in goal for the USA in the World Cup.

Robert Oberst

December 2013 – American – Strongman

Robert Oberst 1Oberst can lift massive stones with his beard (and his arms). Finished 9th in the 2013 World’s Strongest Man Final.

Andy Carroll

January – English – Football

Andy CarrollSpent a long spell injured sensibly growing a beard and burst back into the Premier League in January.

Davide Moscardelli

February – Italian – Football

moscardelli-570-1Voted the greatest Italian football beard. Difficult to argue.

Will Leer

March – American – Athletics

will-lear-2The fastest beard over 800m that you’re likely to see. 6th in the IAAF World Indoor Championships 2014.

Kyle Amor

April – English – Rugby League

Kyle AmorPart of the St Helens team that won the 2014 Super League Grand Final.

Geraint Walsh

May – Welsh – Rugby Union

Geraint Walsh 3Won the Welsh Premiership player of the year with Pontypridd before moving to Cardiff Blues in the summer.

Andrea Pirlo

June – Italian – Football

PirloThe epitome of bearded cool, proving bigger isn’t always better.

Kane Richardson

July – Australian – Cricket

Kane RichardsonSporting a fine example of a beard at only 23 years, Richardson is Australia’s finest hirsute cricketer.

Stuart Sinclair

August – English – Football

Stuart Sinclair 3Sinclair plays for the appropriately nicknamed ‘Pirates’ of Bristol Rovers, swashbuckling his way through England’s Football League.

James Tomlinson

September – English – CricketJames Tomlinson 3

A superb end of season for Tomlinson led to Hampshire to win the County Championship Division Two.

Fetu’u Vainikolo

October – Tongan – Rugby UnionFetu'u Vainokolo

Tonga’s happiest man made history when the Exeter Chiefs won their first Anglo-Welsh Silver Cup

Geoff Cross

November – Scottish – Rugby Union
Geoff Cross 5Arguably Rugby Union’s best current beard. A qualified doctor and expecting father, Cross is full taking advantage of this bearded opportunity while he can.

 

If you want to look as good as these fine gentlemen, take a look at Beard Trimmer Reviews for top brands and top tips.

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

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