A FATHER is preparing to see his face for the first time in 365 days after growing a massive curly ginger beard for charity – if he survives being shaved by Spit the Dog.
When Gareth Goodall, of Little Sutton, Ellesmere Port, decided to try not to shave for a year to raise money for Children in Need, he had no idea of the funny looks, strange stares and bizarre names his giant beard would attract.
Now, almost 365 days after starting his hairy challenge, the 32-year-old is getting ready to see his face, live ‘itch free’ and stop finding food hidden in his beard – something his wife and children are enormously looking forward to.
On Friday Gareth, who works at Wilkinson in Ellesmere Port, is holding a giant shave-off when he hopes to raise hundreds of pounds by trimming away the layers with help from Frodsham comedian and entertainer Bob Carolgees.
“I realised no-one was really doing anything for Children in Need,” said the 32-year-old, who was first inspired to raise money after seeing a man having a pie thrown in his face in a shop near where he works.
“I can’t wait for Friday to come around – it is really itchy and horrible and people keep on giving me funny looks.”
Gareth said his two boys Tyler, 12, and Ethan, nine, and his stepson Jordan, 23, were embarrassed by the beard, but were amazed when he spray-painted it grey as he dressed up as a terrifying zombie pirate for Hallowe’en.
And while working at the shop Gareth said children had been coming up to him, calling him names, and asking him if his beard was real.
Gareth, who had never had anything more than a goatee on his face before, started growing his beard on November 12 last year – without the permission of his wife Marie, who has been horrified by the speed the curly facial hair grew.
“She wants to be the first one to shave part of it off,” said Gareth, who has so far raised around £270, but hopes to raise at least £500 by the end of Friday night.
“People have been telling me to keep it for Christmas and spray it white but I can’t cope with it for a minute longer,” said Gareth.
Gareth’s shave-off is at The Loft Club House, Lady Heyes Caravan Park, Frodsham, at 7.30pm. The evening will include karaoke, drinks, music, dancing and a raffle.