This season, Prostate Cancer UK is the Official Charity Partner
of The Football League. In honour of Movember – in which we are encouraging men to
grow a moustache to raise funds and awareness for prostate cancer
programmes – we asked football writer Iain Macintosh to
select his all-time Moustachioed Legends XI.
Register to take part in Movember
– and read on for Iain's magnificent men with moustaches...
Flashes of brilliance: Bruce's Mo was reminiscent of his goalkeeping. Photos courtesy of Action Images
“Look at me!” trilled Bruce Grobbelaar’s
unkempt moustache when it arrived in England. “I’m the most fun
you’ve never had!” And, by thunder, it was as good as its word. But
look a little closer; look again at the calculated chaos, the
implied refusal to play by the rules. Oh, this tash is troubled. It
has been both hunter and hunted. It begs you not to get too close –
for someone will get hurt.
Neville’s moustache wasn’t luxuriant, but you had to
admire its determination. This was a Mo that made the most of what
God gave it, constantly trying to improve in the face of widespread
scorn and mockery. Sure, its owner has given up on it now, but the
story doesn’t end there. With that same determination, it’s now
forging another high-profile career as a toupee for a prematurely
does uniform precision sometimes hint at hidden flamboyance? With
the authority of a hard-bitten drill sergeant, Francis
Benali never allowed even a single hair of this master-Mo
to stand out of place. And yet there was something so deliciously
Freddie Mercurial here that you wonder if, underneath the red and
white stripes of Southampton, he was actually wearing some quite
the garrulous party-goer who still holds court in your kitchen at
5am, urging you to open that bottle of Johnny Walker Blue Label
you’ve been saving, Mark Lawrenson’s moustache
never knew when it was time to call a taxi and go home. Oh sure, it
kicked off its brogues and danced with all the girls on your
carpet, but that was hours ago. The sun’s up, man. Get out.
Look at the precision.
Look at the way it sits so deep, so perfectly on the lip as if it
were carved by Michelangelo himself. With this glorious moustache,
Chris Kamara makes no pagan declaration of
fertility; he issues no clarion call to war. This is modernity,
this is style, this is vorsprung durch technik. This is a
moustashe that says one thing: “Ladies. Let’s take this party back
to my place.”
Graeme Souness didn’t carry a moustache –
he carried a warning. In a voice that dripped with malice, this
uncompromising tash growled: “Leave me. Leave me here at the bar to
drink with my demons. You want no part of my unholy burden. Leave
me, or I will break you.” And yet there were those who did not heed
the warning. You can recognise them by the way they twitch at the
smell of dubbin.
This is raw, this is
primal, this is John Wark. This is a moustache
that says: “Sure, I’ll stick to the plan, I’ll play the
short-passing game, but let me tell you something. If the lights go
out and the walls come tumbling down, I am NOT beyond stripping
off, pouring a bucket of woad over my head and setting fire to an
“What are you looking at?”
barks Jimmy Case’s moustache. “Nothing,” you
whimper. “Nothing at all.” There is a long silence. Outside, a
suddenly spooked horse whinnies in fear. “Nothing?” says Jimmy
Case’s moustache carefully. “So I’m nothing, am I?” You don’t like
the way it phrased the question. You don’t like the way it’s
bristling at you. All of a sudden, you feel very alone.
At its peak in the 1970s, Frank
Worthington boasted a moustache so sexy that Mary
Whitehouse tried to have it banned. This moustache was so
dangerous, it could have been used as a psychological weapon of
war, but Frank was adamant that it should only ever be used for
good. These days, it’s thinner and more wizened, but never doubt
its dormant power. Perhaps it knew your mother. Perhaps it would
like to get to know your girlfriend…
Never have man and
moustache been as well matched as Ian Rush and
that deft, dark tuft that lived under his nose for nearly 20 years.
This was no bushy blunderbuss; this was arch and deliberate,
concise but ruthlessly efficient. For a centre-back, the appearance
of that tash in your peripheral vision said just one thing. Danger
is here, and he’s playing off your shoulder.
Ah, the indefinable
multiplier effect of the moustache. For some, a tash adds creeping
menace, for others it opens the floodgates to a torrent of raw
sexuality. For Mick Quinn, it brought nothing but
peace, love and understanding. Look at him. He looks like a chubby
village bobby, turning a blind eye to the licencing laws in
exchange for two pints of Old Futtock and a pickled egg. Mind how
you go, son.
For more of our Movember specials, check out
The top nine father-and-son duos.
How you can get involved
Prostate cancer affects one in nine
men in the UK – that means a man is diagnosed every 15
minutes. Each year the Movember Foundation encourages men to
grow moustaches during November and, in the process, raises
considerable amounts of money for charity.
As Prostate Cancer UK is the official charity partner of the
Football League, we want to make this football’s most successful
contribution to Movember ever.
We’ve created a team for each of the 72 Football League clubs on
the Movember website, so when you register you can start to grow a
Mo on behalf of the team you support. Here’s how:
1. Register at movember.com
2. Join your club’s team using the
search bar on the site
3. Ask your friends and family to
take part too
4. Get growing your moustache from 1
5. Encourage your friends and family
to support your efforts by donating money.
Best of luck!