FACIAL fuzz aficionado Michael Legge’s 2ft-plus beard has won him national titles, taken him across Europe and even featured on a beer promotion...
But the 33-year-old will end his beardy era — after nearly nine years — by getting it lopped off with the target of raising £5,000 for Prostrate Cancer UK.
The dad of two, of Kimberworth, admitted: “I honestly can’t remember what it’s like to not have a beard.
“My children are nine and seven, so they can’t remember me without it. They might think: ‘Who’s this scary man with no beard in our house?’”
Michael won sponsorship deals after netting regional and national titles for his beard — allowing him to travel to world championships in Austria and Belgium.
And his likeness was even adopted in 2014 by Fownes Brewing Co to feature on their beer pump clips in pubs.
Michael said: “In the past couple of years, I’ve entered a few competitions locally, and I’ve also been to Belgium for the world championships, where I came seventh. I always said I would be over the moon with anything in the top ten.
“I’ve been all over the country with sponsors, I’ve travelled to Europe, I’ve met all sorts of people. It has been quite a ride.
“But I’ve been thinking about cutting it off for a while. I just don’t think I could take another whole summer with the beard.
“In the hot weather, it’s like a quilt. A lot of the time I braid it or tie it up because when it’s down it’s like wearing a body warmer.”
As well as pondering how wife Toni and children Hannah (9) and George (7) might see his new look, Michael is looking forward to some daily tasks becoming a little simpler...
“Day-to-day things like washing and showering take a while,” he added. “Eating certain foods is a real challenge. If I get a ’99 with a flake, I’ll be wearing it.
“I think the first thing I’ll do after getting the shave is go for a big, dirty burger and then ice cream!”
Michael chose charity Prostate UK as a cause closely aligned with the men’s grooming scene — and his employers BOC, at Brinsworth, have offered to match his fundraising total.
“When I started working there I was obviously pretty noticeable,” said Michael. “But they’ve been cool with me and let me tie it up.
“My manager said a while ago that they’re quite a charitable firm and they would match the total when the time came. That offer has also been something that I’ve thought about in making the decision to go for it.”
The cut will happen at Unorthodox barbers, Dalton, on July 27. Visit justgiving.com/fundraising/michaellegge to sponsor Michael.
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