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Beard of the Year?

Martin Gough | 10:54 UK time, Thursday, 14 December 2006

Monty Panesar was celebrating on the field during day one of the third Ashes Test as he became the first English spinner to take a Test five-wicket haul in Perth, and he returned to the pavilion to more good news.

His heroics came too late for the BBC Sports Personality vote but Panesar has been named as one of the favourites for the Beard of the Year award, handed out annually by the Beard Liberation Front, an informal network of beard wearers.

Other cricketing personalities among the nominees are Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq and Test Match Special statistician Bill "The Bearded Wonder" Frindall, a regular inclusion.

Monty PanesarSlow left-armer Panesar also faces competition from actor Ricky Tomlinson and Fidel Castro. The ailing president of Cuba was unavailable for comment but BLF organiser Keith Flett found time to speak to BBC Radio Northampton.

"He's one of the front-runners for the award this year," said Flett.

"He may have a beard for slightly different reasons, but at the end of the day it's still a beard, and it's a magnificent beard.

"Obviously it's his bowling, but I think his beard may well play a role there.

"The Aussie batsmen are probably a bit bamboozled as they see the beard coming towards them and, you know, that's it - off they go back to the pavilion."

Listen to BBC Radio Northampton's interview with Keith Flett of the BLF

While Monty celebrated his fifth wicket, captain Andrew Flintoff was wicketless and with good reason, according to Flett.

During his Ashes heroics of 2005, Flintoff sported a decent covering of gingery-blond designer stubble and surprisingly scooped the Beard of the Year award as a result.

But there is no place for him in this year's nominees as his "beard has declined during 2006", according to the latest BLF statement in the Test Match Special email inbox.

Beard of the Year nominees:
Bill Bryson, author
Fidel Castro, politician
Bill Frindall, broadcaster
George Galloway, politician
Christopher Howse, journalist
Paul Mackney, trade unionist
Monty Panesar, cricketer
Brian Perkins, broadcaster
Terry Pratchett, author
Tom Robinson, broadcaster
Richard Rowlett, Stilton cheesemaker
Ricky Tomlinson, actor
Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia
Robert Wyatt, musician
Inzamam-Ul-Haq, cricketer

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 11:03 AM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Shokaib wrote:

Why isnt Mohammed Yousuf On The Nominees

  • 2.
  • At 11:23 AM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • j wrote:

Hashim Amla surely

  • 3.
  • At 11:29 AM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Bradman wrote:


  • 4.
  • At 11:30 AM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Foz wrote:

Exactly what I was thinking Shokaib.

Mohammed Yousuf a shocking omission.

Monty's only serious competition I'd have thought.

  • 5.
  • At 11:32 AM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Ese Ako wrote:

Go on MONTY. I am close to growing a "MONTY" also

  • 6.
  • At 11:36 AM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • da wrote:

I'd like to nominate Ed Greggs in the "Just hit puberty bum-fluff category".


  • 7.
  • At 11:38 AM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Peter wrote:

Cannot believe that Mohammad Yousuf is not on the shortlist! What a complete farce!

  • 8.
  • At 11:45 AM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • tim wrote:

what about brian blessed!

  • 9.
  • At 11:52 AM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Andy wrote:

Has Eddie the Eagle got a beard? If so, he'd definitely win - legend.

  • 10.
  • At 11:53 AM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Neil Popat wrote:

Well what can, I say about our Monty. Definitely proved the doubters and the selectors wrong. If they had their wits about them earlier they would have included him in the 2 tests which they lost. Duncan Fletcher in my opinion is the one to blame if England go on to loose the Ashes.

It’s all if's and Butts, but I strongly believe Monty should have been included in the first 2 tests instead of Giles.

With Monty's performance today, I am sure Giles is thinking the worst about his place in the England Team.

All I can say is come on Monty make us proud. We are all supporting you and England.



  • 11.
  • At 11:57 AM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • JohnFernandez wrote:

Monty seems to have achieved the impossible when it comes to beards. He has complete control of it despite the rugged and wild look it is usually presented in. Sensational.

  • 12.
  • At 12:00 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • JohnFernandez wrote:

Can anyone tell me what beard grooming products Monty uses? I presume his own line of such products will be coming out soon.

  • 13.
  • At 12:04 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • oliver brett wrote:

I think they should go for some slightly trendier people on the shortlist than a Stilton cheesemaker.

How about the likes of Daniel Craig and Jonny Depp?

  • 14.
  • At 12:16 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • whynotme wrote:

what about moyo or Mohammed Yousuf

  • 15.
  • At 12:29 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Her majestt's loyal subject in Point Clare, NSW wrote:

Brian Blessed ? - not as blessed as Monty

  • 16.
  • At 12:47 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • mohammed idris wrote:

go on inzy i am going to grow beard

  • 17.
  • At 12:56 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Andrew the Bum wrote:

lol at this list! No Moyo! Are ya kiddin' mate?

  • 18.
  • At 01:03 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • saj wrote:

Who's Ed Greggs? I only know Ace Greggs

  • 19.
  • At 01:19 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • stu d'apples wrote:

Surely George "The Cat" Galloway only has a furry top lip, not a luxurious beard like the rest of the list. Give his place to Yousef.

  • 20.
  • At 01:35 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • ibrahim wrote:

mohammad yousaf has the longest and most good looking beard

  • 21.
  • At 01:41 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Gaza wrote:

Monty is a national Icon, therefore so is his beard.

Has to be Hashim Amla! He has the best beard ever. Though if my Gran was famous she'd surely be on the list.

  • 23.
  • At 01:53 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Higgo wrote:

John McHugh of Bruntwood is surely someone worthy of a nomination?

  • 24.
  • At 02:02 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Joey wrote:

Gregory House MD

  • 25.
  • At 02:06 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Brendan wrote:

Thats shocking a sure nomination should have been Barcelona's Socialist Intellect Righ-Back Oleguer Presas, a European Cup winner with an excellent beard. Or how about former hearts captain Steven Pressley with his grizzly.

  • 26.
  • At 02:33 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • s rance wrote:

fidel castro all the way!!!

  • 27.
  • At 02:45 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • richard mckenna wrote:

Father Christmas, SAINT.

Greatest Beard of all time!!!

  • 28.
  • At 02:52 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Pete wrote:

Would it be wrong to suggest Osama Bin Laden? Love him or loathe him - you can't ignore a great beard.

  • 29.
  • At 02:54 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Sanjeev Shah wrote:

100% Monty!

Unbelievable that the same management that won the Ashes by playing smart, positive and even aggressive cricket a year later reverts to the losing ways of the previous 15 years.

Losing Vaughan and Simon Jones was bad but then when a gem like Monty the Beard comes along, to not use him to continue to be smart, positive and aggressive is bizarre to say the least.

P.S. Surely Castro is better known as 'tyrant' and apart from Galloway not having a beard, shouldn't he be known as 'self-seeking publicist'? - neither of them cares much about politics, certainly not of the people!

"Can anyone tell me what beard grooming products Monty uses? I presume his own line of such products will be coming out soon."

Monty. By Calvin Klein.

Inspirataional...I'm not a bearded man myself, but I'm almost convinced it's the way to go.

  • 31.
  • At 03:49 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Joe wrote:

I agree with Shokaib, Mohammed Yousuf would give Monty a much better run for his money than Imzamam.

  • 32.
  • At 03:59 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • newcomer wrote:

They should officially name Panesar's style of beard 'the monty'.

'the monty' has mysterious and magical attributes that one can only experience once they wear it.

maybe gilo should experiment!!!!

  • 33.
  • At 04:42 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Silas wrote:

Get Noel Edmonds rat on the nominations list. It's got real character

  • 34.
  • At 05:56 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Simon T wrote:

Will a 'tache' always be the understudy to what should from now be known as 'The Full Monty' !

I don't think I could grow one quite so resplendent as Lord Panesar of Luton (I have a time machine and this honour is bestowed on him at 12noon on Tuesday 27th July 2019 by King William). Plus when you have let it grow a bit and you've got itchy eyes, when you then try and blow upwards the draft is blocked by the whiskers !

I wonder if Gillette and Wilkinson are genuinely concerned about the potential for positive press on the growth of beards ?? Perhaps we will see rampant acquisition of whisker wax companies by these big corporates...

I suppose that the beard has to be 'current' to be selected. Our boy Ewan Macgregor has shaved his off now to reveal the face of a teenager, but whilst traversing the globe with his mate the long way round he did have what could only be described as a magnificent facial mane.

Monty. . well yes he is related to me but also he is doing a huge thing for the Sikh community getting them out there showing the world what us sikhs are...

I reckon I should be in with a chance!!!!! (Thats me with the verging-on-ginger beard in "self portraits...)

Good luck Monty but surely Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill of ZZ Top fame, should be the first names on the list.

  • 38.
  • At 08:02 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Mickey wrote:

Is this competition Sexist ?

How come no women have qualified for the final ?

My great aunt Helen . . .

  • 39.
  • At 09:25 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • asif wrote:

Mohammad Yousuf should be on the list. His beard outclases all others.

Since he isnt there, ...MONTY!!! go on monty!!

What about Homer Simpson? Surely anybody that can grow a beard, that when shaved grows back instantly, deserves a nomination!?!

  • 41.
  • At 10:26 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Par Bhirth wrote:

Why is this such a big deal?

His beard is for religious purposes as well as Inzimam Ul-Haq.

Don't see any other people with religious bears on the list. Why not put Hardeep Singh Kholi on the list?

Don't these judjes have anything better to do?

  • 42.
  • At 11:20 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • MontyMontyMonty wrote:


  • 43.
  • At 11:56 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • AndyGhoateeT wrote:

Sorry Par, I know it was a typo, but love the thought of a "religious bear"!
Have to go with Monty's super-natural facial hair - no contest without any nominations from the folk music community (is there a "team" award?).

  • 44.
  • At 12:05 AM on 15 Dec 2006,
  • Phil Boynton wrote:

Richard Rowlett must win! With an occupation like Stilton cheesemaker, how can there be any other winner?

  • 45.
  • At 02:18 AM on 15 Dec 2006,
  • Will Roe wrote:

What about the guys of ZZ Top?? They HAD beards alright, and yeh yousuf should definetly be in there his beard is amazing!!

  • 46.
  • At 02:48 AM on 15 Dec 2006,
  • Taiwan Doug wrote:

There seems to be some link with havng a beard and being on the Left:

Comrades Castro & Galloway
Ricky Tomlinson, Bill Bryson and Paul Mackney - all Lefties.

And of course Monty - the Greatest Leftie of all time!

Any others?

Bill Frindall??

  • 47.
  • At 03:02 AM on 15 Dec 2006,
  • R. Deane wrote:

Osama Bin Laden was a fair shout, but would he show up for the awards ceremony?

  • 48.
  • At 03:11 AM on 15 Dec 2006,
  • Adrian wrote:

I'm sorry but this list is pathetic. How can you not include Hashim Amla. Monty Panesar has been over hyped. English cricket seems to think he is some sort of saviour....come on people....he is a good bowler, thats all. What will happen when he has a bad day, will everyone turn around and forget about him....probably.

An interesting article on The World of Beards discusses "The Greatest Bearded Sportsman of All Time"

  • 50.
  • At 08:53 AM on 15 Dec 2006,
  • Johnny Rib wrote:

I agree with Higgo! John McHugh of bruntwood, or as some of us know him: "Bearded Bruntwood" should shurely get a look in!!

  • 51.
  • At 09:17 AM on 15 Dec 2006,
  • Gary, Upminster wrote:

With Mahmood and Anderson both not upto test standard why don't England play and extra batsmen and use Pietersen, Collingwood and Bell more??

  • 52.
  • At 09:48 AM on 15 Dec 2006,
  • Sam wrote:

Wheres Brian Blessed?

  • 53.
  • At 10:13 AM on 15 Dec 2006,
  • chris g wrote:

hey, what about my beard??

  • 54.
  • At 10:18 AM on 15 Dec 2006,
  • monty wrote:

Good to hear that good old MP is a 'front runner' for yet another award. hopefully there will not be any royals to stand in his way this time around. although i wonder whether he will be happy about the distraction during his first ashes test. bearding him at such a time could make the talk bristle with difficulties. talk about splitting hairs.

  • 55.
  • At 10:19 AM on 15 Dec 2006,
  • kojo wrote:

Where's Elton John?


We are a pressure group aimed at bringing back the beard and news of 'Beard of the Year' has brought us much joy...

May we become involved in this somehow?

Tits McGee
President & Founding member of Women For Beards

  • 57.
  • At 11:21 AM on 19 Dec 2006,
  • Simon Gidman wrote:

The Ashes are lost - that didn't take long did it ?

One can argue about selection ad infinitum (though it shouldn't be forgotten that it was widely considered in the Panesar /Giles debate that Giles was in fact bowling better at the start of the tour) , one can discuss the captaincy , one can discuss the wicketkeeper, one can discuss the coach - these are all important but fairly short term issues.

We won the ashes last year when most people felt it was perhaps a little preamture to have done so - but the authorities were expecting us to be no.1 in the world by 2007 - or at least challenging for that.

This is clearly dream talk

When Austalia were beaten by England in the Botham years I recall they went away - licked their wounds - and if memory serves me right set up their Academy to improve their structure. In 2005 they did exactly the same - they went away learnt from it and improved. The same is true of their Olympic efforts.

The question we should be asking ourselves is not -should we have selcted so and so or should AS or FF be captain -we need to take the attitude that we have been thrashed and answer the following questions.

1] What do we need to do to get up to the Aussie level and
2] What do we need to do to pass it ?

The answers may be structural - I don't know - but we know need to move the professional game on another notch to compete with best and sustain that improvement.

It is no use talking about cycles of performance - that is a laissez faire attitude which suggests that others are controlling events and not ourselves.


  • 58.
  • At 10:49 AM on 28 Dec 2006,
  • subhaan wrote:

WELL DONE monty panesar

  • 59.
  • At 01:36 PM on 28 Dec 2006,
  • zezima wrote:

Monty's beard sucks

  • 60.
  • At 01:40 PM on 28 Dec 2006,
  • zezima wrote:

enven though im an Indian not a Pakistani, i am utterly shocked that Mohammed Yousuf isnt on the nomiees list, WHAT KIND OF WORLD IS THIS!

  • 61.
  • At 10:07 AM on 29 Dec 2006,
  • Taher wrote:

I think alot of us agreed, Mohd Yosuf should be very close to the top!

What about Rolf Harris?

does stuble count, i hav some stylish stuble....
Bum-fluff?... i got plenty of that!
anyhow, inzy inzy inzy rocks dude-wat a batsmen!-i was at the oval test aswell lolz, annoying that i didnt actaully see much cricket!
= D

  • 63.
  • At 06:02 PM on 17 Jun 2007,
  • Robert Webber wrote:

Would anyone BACKSIDE BOTTOM to take another 5 wickets?

Robert from New York

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