05 February, 2008

“Chins without beards deserve no honour” – Spanish Proverb

It seems strange that 20 or 30 years ago almost every footballer had a beard; it was a status symbol, and chicks used to dig it. Why though now has it taken STT two weeks of fervent list-making to compile enough Premier League footballers with beards to even justify this article? We wanted to show that some guys around at the moment still have that hippie swagger, casting out the razor in favour of a handy place to store undigested foodstuffs.

Is it that generally the beard is no longer is fashion? Perhaps; the so-called ‘metrosexual’ society in which we live encourages men to embrace their feminine side more and more, thus body hair in general is frowned upon by all the cool cats in China White. STT can’t help but feel though that this trend originally came from most of those pre-pubescent posers not actually being able to grow beards in the first place due to lack of testosterone. Ask any woman and trust me, chicks dig the beard no less than ever before, and will practically beg you to go twos-up with their best friend or sister at the mere sight of any chest hair.

Just ask Hollywood if you don’t believe me. The biggest hunks of the last ten years or so have at some stage all proudly rocked the chin-warmer; Leonardo di Caprio, Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, George Clooney, Jonny Depp, Jake Gyllenhaal…even David Beckham was seen representing almost as soon as he joined the LA Galaxy, and he knows style!

So who can we give a shout out to for keeping it masculine and hairy in the Premier League at the moment? Well many reliable stalwarts such as David James, Mido, Wayne Rooney and Jermaine Pennant are currently pretty clean shaven, so they’re out. This is gonna sound ridiculously racist, but looking at photos of many of the black players we’d noted, it’s actually pretty hard to tell! Sulley Muntari, Kolo Toure, Chris Samba and Michael Essien kind of do, I think, but it’s too difficult to call week-to-week. Ryan Giggs gets a commendable mention for being literally the swarthiest man I’ve ever seen, and rumours of him having to actually shave at half time some weeks to stop from being overcome by fur by the final whistle have never been denied to my complete satisfaction.

So it’s a very sorry state of affairs then. Just three consistant beards as far as I can see, and even the greatest of them all, Mellberg, dabbled with smooth-chin-ness only a couple of years ago! What is to be done people?!

STT can do nothing but direct you towards some of the great footballing beards, past and present, in the hope that maybe you’ll be convinced enough to take the plunge yourself…


Djibril Cisse ‘dragon’

Gennaro Gattuso ‘wife beater’

Abel Xavier ‘tribal’

Old school:

Jimmy Hill ‘rapist in a mackintosh’

Ricky Villa ‘pimp daddy’

George Best 'the name says it all’

Socrates ‘seriously relaxed’

Alexi lalas ‘america’

Roberto baggio ‘evil wizard’