With the fund-raising charity month of Movember now well underway, Ben Twelves picks a Liverpool FC Facial Hair XI – with some truly inspirational and dedicated efforts making the line up.
“We all dream of a team of ‘taches”
After signing from Vancouver Whitecaps for £250,000 in 1981, Liverpool’s Zimbabwean international ‘keeper slotted in perfectly at Anfield, as he entertained the Kop 628 times with flying saves while sporting a top-class moustache throughout.
The ‘keeper went on to become a club legend, playing a huge part in the European Cup win in 1984 in Rome, where his famous ‘spaghetti legs’ were believed to have been behind Francesco Graziani wildly skied spot-kick. Some however, claim that it was in fact Bruce’s striking, bushy ‘tache that put the Italian off.
Abel Xavier (C)
It only makes sense to hand this man the captain’s armband for this iconic Anfield XI, as the Portuguese full-back was more famous for his facial designs than he was for anything he did on the Anfield turf.
The last man to move directly between the two Merseyside clubs after signing for a fee of £800,000 in January 2002, Xavier’s roughhouse look matched his personality rather than his defensive approach, and following a row with Gerard Houllier, he was farmed out on loan to Galatasaray after just 14 appearances and one goal for the Reds.
The imposing Greek centre back was far from the most gifted of centre backs witnessed at Anfield, but his dominating nature in the middle of the Reds back line was certainly aided by his fearless look.
His physical style combined with the rough and ragged stubble and mop of hair that was proudly displayed 49 times in a red shirt after joining in 2009, would have been enough to put the frights up even the hardest striker in the game, but three goals and almost two years to the day later, Kyrgiakos departed Anfield for Wolfsburg.
One of The Reds’ greatest ever defenders, Lawrenson also sported one of the best ‘taches in the business during his eight years at Anfield during the 1980s.
Lawro’s more well known nowadays for his dubious opinions as a BBC commentator, but back in the day he was the bedrock of Anfield’s defence alongside Alan Hansen, winning five league titles, three league cups, an FA Cup and a European Cup.
The first player to score winning goals in two European Cup finals, Kennedy’s iconic moustache was with him throughout the duration of his historic days at Anfield which saw him collect 14 honours during his time at Anfield.
His success at a time where the Reds dominated the English and European game was ever accompanied by the bushy tache which survived the cut as the straggly beard made way after a short existence, and 359 games and 20 goals over an eight year stay at Anfield rightly make him a club legend and cement his spot at left back.
Wark checked in at Liverpool at a similar time to when Graeme Souness departed the club, and the Reds not only inherited a goal-scorer capable of filling some of the void left by the Scotsman, but a man who could also replace the much loved tache.
Focussing solely on another well-worn facial feature would be unfair on Wark, who proved an excellent signing scoring 42 times in 108 matches for the club, but while that’s all well and good, it’s the fashionable drop-handle that puts him on the right hand side of this line up.
The renowned hard-man of the Liverpool midfields through the late 70s to mid-80s, Souness’ fierce competitiveness meant you didn’t want to be on the receiving end of one of his bone-crunching tackles in the middle of the park.
Displaying a moustache that looked as heavy and thick as a Grand National fence, the Scottish midfielder boasts arguably the best facial hair of anyone at the club as it wore a dominance reminiscent of his performance in the midfield.
It’s another eighties legend who lines up alongside Souness in midfield. McDermott’s impressive ‘tache was on display as Liverpool dominated domestic and European football in the late seventies and early eighties, making over 200 appearances for The Reds.
It was the lung-bursting runs of Stevie Heighway down the wing that lead to the Kop favourite being awarded a line in the famous Anfield song, and his loyalty to the Red shirt as well as his well-maintained moustache cements his place in the XI.
The flying winger enjoyed an 11-year career at the club in which he made 475 total appearances scoring 76 goals – picking up 15 honours along the way – and never once did he shy away from proudly presenting his iconic tache that was a mainstay throughout his Reds career.
Not only did the Welsh striker go on to become the clubs’ all-time leading goal-scorer in two spells at Anfield, but Rush too boasted one of the most famous and legendary taches’ ever to grace the world of football. Displayed proudly on his top lip for years, it doesn’t seem right even now when he appears that the Liverpool legend is tache-free and clean shaven.
Rush will forever he’ll be associated with having his arms aloft and a celebratory smile etched just below his sleek moustache – something seen 346 times in 660 outings in a red shirt – before moving to Italy with Juventus where he faced stiff competition from legendary computer game figure ‘Super Mario’ for the country’s best tache.
A legend and icon amongst the fan base, local lad ‘Aldo’ was just as known for his incredible amounts of goals and memorable departure in his final game at Anfield, as he was for modelling his image on predecessor and eventual teammate Rush.
The resemblance between the Scouser and the Welshman was astonishing, and Aldridge didn’t just follow in the Wales strikers’ goal-scoring footsteps – bagging an incredible total of 63 goals in 104 appearances in total before being sold to Real Sociedad for £1million – but he proudly wore his Rush-like ‘tache in keeping with the goal-scoring traditions at Liverpool.
Manager: Rafa Benitez
The Spaniard brought the European Cup back to Anfield in his first season at the club and later restored the moustache – and then the goatee beard. It made him the subject of many a Spanish waiter song from opposing fans but he was our Spanish waiter and we loved him for it.
Subs: Jerzy Dudek, Tommy Smith, Stephane Henchoz, Salif Diao, Djibril Cisse.
Are you growing a ‘tache for Movember? Sport it on a Liverpool player and tweet us @thisisanfield.