We're @ that time of year when the clocks go back and Winter draws on, footballing wise the trusty yellow ball is bought out to play and on the terraces as layers are piled on, autumnal fashion of a different kind can be seen as facial hair starts sprouting out like the first snowdrops of the season. But it's not just the women donning their winter coats, the men are joining in, as with recent years we see the start of Movember.......
Up and down the country top lip caterpillars can be spotted along with handlebar and porn star alike, but whereas it's now become a seasonal thing once upon a time in Football the moustache really was where it's at and so we pay tribute to those hirsute heroes of years gone by.
In the 50's a finely waxed moustache was the sign of a gentleman and back in the day football was a game for gents, everyone had a jolly good time on the pitch and smoked a packet of fags together afterwards in the communal baths.
The 60's & 70's were a hairier time both on and off the pitch, with free love in the air on the terraces tussled tressed hooligans ruled. Within the game itself moustaches had reached their prime and up and down the country hair was protruding from top lips at an alarming rate.
The ultimate team of 'taches surely was Liverpool of the 70's and 80's, a whole starting eleven could have been made up of mustachioed men alone, with the likes of Grobbelaar, Lawrenson, Rush and Aldridge all in favour of the lady tickler.
Throughout the seventies - the heyday of the nose neighbour - any form of facial hair (on a man at least) was seen as a sign of virility and in that glam rock era the hard men of football wore their 'taches with pride..........before a different kind of pride made them slightly less masculine.
But you'd hardly want to point this out the Greame Souness
|Souness - Hard|
Though the moustache faded (or was it bleached) from the English game as the years went on, in some of those more liberal countries it gained a new lease of life, Ruud Gullitt setting off his porn star 'tache with a matching set of dreadlocks, while in Germany Ruddi Voller favoured the even more hardcore perm/tache combo. Elsewhere in the darkened corners of Eastern Europe we could still marvel at a lovely handlebar tash whenever the English clubs travelled abroad and with World Cups every four years those South Americans could always be relied on for a hirsute fix.
Nowadays the moustache is almost extinct with of late only Gary Neville @ Man Utd giving it a go, although even the scourge of football grounds and England Squads alike couldn't quite pull it off without resorting to a goatee to back it up.
Which leaves just everyone's favourite bad boy Joey Barton as the last recognised purveyor of facial fungus in football but even then he shaved it off after The Toon won a game.........let's just hope that when Movember rolls around and the bum fluff reappears some footballers man up and keep their 'tashs firmly placed on their top lips for seasons to come.
|A Movember Masterpiece|