Todays Tales

Facial hair in all its guises has been trendy for a while now…. and Premier League footballers are just about to get in on the act after a beard-growing organisation blasted the authorities for a “weak stance on growth” when it comes to our star players.

Smooth-chinned aces such as Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson, Manchester City attacker Kevin De Bruyne and Arsenal grafter Lucas Torreira will soon be ditching the gel, razor and hot water and letting their stubble flourish into what many fans call “fungus chops”.

Because a new ruling means that EVERY player who takes to the field for a top-flight side in September will have to be sporting facial hair of some kind — whether it be an expertly trimmed pencil moustache to a carefully crafted full-on hipster beard.

The edict has come from on high; the Premier League chief executive Dicky Scudamore sanctioned the ruling this week after being taken to task by Beards Across Borders (BAB), a charity which aims to raise awareness for various worthy causes “through highlighting the joys of the unshaven face”.

Scudamore revealed that after “forceful requests” from the powerful beard lobbyists BAB he had sent the Premier League clubs notice of his decision and that all players must sport some growth during September. He added:

“I’ll toss away my Bic for the month, too – let us all embrace facial hair.”

BAB chairman Willy “Whiskers” McKleen-Shaven congratulated the hierarchy on “seeing sense”. He said:

“We can do so much for the power of good through this initiative and the awareness it raises will lead to an end to misery in impoverished places such as Bognor Regis, right through to Monaco.”

Many fans are in support of the move, but others say the ruling is “hairiest”. Meanwhile, some are plain uninterested in the hirsute development. James Therat, a Burnley fan of many years standing (and latterly sitting, what with the old hip playing up), said:

“I couldn’t give a monkey’s whether they have taches, beards, chins or even faces for that matter. As long as they can get bleedin’ ball in’t back of onion bag they’re all reet by me. Mine’s half a Guinness.”

Refuge collector Steve Kew, 56, a West Ham season ticket holder who travels to every game from his home in Fiji, said:

“Facial hair has long been ignored to a large degree by footballers. I started watching football back in the 1970s and there were beards a plenty then and it suited me fine.”

Consultant radiologist Eric Nagasaki, a part-time referee and huge Everton supporter (when we say huge we’re talking 25-stone plus), said:

“Theo Walcott, our star winger, looks a lot better with a beard and as a club the Toffees should, from now on, sign players who already have beards. It’s imperative, I tells ya.”

The clubs are yet to respond to the request but a spokesman at Crystal Palace told one reporter:

“Apparently, the clubs are yet to respond to the request.”