Hairy plumber Karl Mayers has grown his beard for a year to raise funds for a charity supporting Parkinson’s Disease sufferers like his late grandfather.
Karl, 26, of Highfield Road, Blacon, was close to his grandad Eric who passed away about two years ago after suffering from Parkinson’s and vascular dementia.
Eric was ‘a joker’ just like him, so it seemed fitting that Karl remember his beloved relative in comedic fashion while raising cash for Parkinson’s UK who aim to improve the quality of life for sufferers while also seeking a cure.
Karl decided to grow his facial hair to such an extent that he would probably qualify as the fourth member of American bluegrass band ZZ Top who are famed for their long beards.
But on Saturday evening it all comes to an end when Karl gets his beard shaved off at The George and Dragon pub in Liverpool Road, Chester, having raised about £500 in sponsorship.
Karl, who has sported a shorter beard for years, explained that effectively having a large bush attached to his chin had generated female attention but also a ribbing from his pals.
He said: “It’s been said I look like a tramp. Sometimes I give change to homeless people and they say I should be sitting down there with him!”
Karl, a qualified plumber who is looking for work, said eating his porridge at breakfast time had also proved a messy business.
His mum Carole, of Treborth Road, Blacon, said her father Eric had 'a wicked sense of humour’ just like her son.
She said: “Karl has not had an easy ride the last few years because family members have passed away but instead of being negative he turns it into a positive. I’m really proud of him.”
Anyone wishing to support Karl can go along to The George and Dragon from 7.30pm on Saturday, January 11 where, complete with charity bucket, he will get his beard shaved off by his mum’s friend Michelle, a hairdresser, at about 8.30pm. He hopes to break his £500 target.