Prostate Cancer UK is the official charity partner of The
Football League this season. It is also one of the main
beneficiaries of Movember,
during which men are encouraged to grow a moustache to raise funds
for, and awareness of, men’s health initiatives.
In recognition of the fact one in nine men in the UK will be
affected by prostate cancer, football writer Rob Smyth, of the
Guardian, has picked nine men with Mos who have made a lasting
impact on the beautiful game.
Register to take part at Movember.com, and join the Football
Read on for Rob’s nine moustachioed maestros…
Mo Bros: The Preston Invincibles sported mighty moustaches – and were unbeatable. Coincidence?
Depending on your allegiance, Graeme Souness was either a super
furry animal or simply an animal. He was certainly the most
important player in Liverpool's greatest and most hirsute team: an
uncontrollable fusion of skill, will, gristle and bristle. He may
have inadvertently inspired the Francis Begbie look, but nobody's
Antonin Panenka may not have exposed the flesh above his top lip,
but he developed an entirely new way to skin a goalkeeper from the
penalty spot. His gently chipped penalty, which won the 1976
European Championship for Czechoslovakia, instantly made Panenka
part of football’s lexicon. Just ask Joe Hart, who was beaten by
Andrea Pirlo’s ‘Panenka’ for Italy in the quarter-finals of Euro
The Mafioso of Italy's 1982 world champions, Gentile took
man-marking to another level, with marking being the operative
word. Few of his subjects left the field without tattooed legs. He
did a famous job on Diego Maradona at the World Cup, fouling him
more than 20 times in the match and introducing him to the ‘Boot of
Satan’. With Gentile, pain was always in the post – and usually by
special delivery. He was the celebrity stalker of his era.
With his almost unprecedented combination of outrageous skill and
formidable athleticism, Ruud Gullit could have been a footballer
from the future. He was one of three Dutchmen who inspired AC
Milan, the only iconic club side of their generation and the last
team to retain the European Cup. And he did it all while sporting
the roughest shag this side of a Grimsby back alley.
Vicente del Bosque
Few people talk about Vicente del Bosque when the great modern
managers are discussed. It's hard to fathom why, because his record
is staggering: in three and a half years at Real Madrid he won two
Champions Leagues, an Intercontinental Cup and two La Ligas, and as
Spain manager he won the World Cup and the European Championship.
In an age of managers with faces like a baby's bottom – and, some
would say, like a smacked arse – Del Bosque is palpably a victim of
The point of a substitute is to bring on fresh legs. At 38, Roger
Milla's legs weren't particularly fresh at Italia 90, but rarely
has there been a greater influence from the bench. He scored four
goals, gave the whole of England a collective coronary in the
quarter-final and became the face – and wiggling hips – of Africa's
most significant football breakthrough.
Paul Breitner, a key member of the great West German side of the
1970s, was one of the first right-footed left-backs, a position
from which he scored an amazing goal against Chile in the 1974
World Cup. He was also one of the first effortlessly cool
footballers, with the look of a man who had rolled on to the field
straight from a München discotheque. And he is almost certainly the
only footballer to be photographed with
Suave, erudite and with a chat-up line growing above his top lip,
it's no wonder that imaginary research showed the trembling of
housewives' knees increased by 4,719 per cent when Des Lynam was on
the screen. His big-game one-liners were semi-legendary and he
found the perfect mix of professionalism and human charm. For a
time in the 1990s, Des became almost as big a draw as the
OK, so it's a team rather than an individual, but how can you
single out one player from this collection of soup
strainers? The Preston Invincibles went the entire 1888-89
season unbeaten, winning the double in the process, and as such
were commemorated with umpteen cigarette cards. With all that
bristle, it's a minor miracle those cards didn't set all 20 fags
alight when they were whipped from the box.
For more Movember-related musings, check out our
Moustachioed Legends XI, our
Top nine father-and-son duos and our
Nine amazing facts about goalkeepers.
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!