London: Bristol Rovers manager Joey Barton joked his players would be a commentator’s nightmare after he and they shaved their heads to raise funds for team mate Nick Anderton who is undergoing chemotherapy for bone cancer.
A barber, and supporter of rivals Bristol City, wielded the clippers on Jan 16 - referencing Anderton’s shirt number - with fans of the League One (third tier) English club also invited to lose their locks.
Some 40 players, coaches and staff went shaven-headed, with Rovers captioning the subsequent group photograph ‘Bristol Razors’.
“There’s going to be some odd stares when we get to play games, a commentator’s nightmare - a team of skinheads. But it’s a phenomenal cause and it’s the least we can do,” Barton told the BBC.
Club captain Paul Coutts told the Rovers website earlier that his 26-year-old friend’s world had been turned upside down in the blink of an eye after the diagnosis of osteosarcoma last July.
“This is another way that we can help raise awareness of his condition and raise valuable funds for him and his young family at the same time,” he said.
“Some of us have less hair to lose than others and I’m sure Nick’s looking forward to seeing his mates and the gaffer without any.” A gofundme page had reached more than 35,000 pounds ($42,889) by Tuesday afternoon.
“The best group of people, what a club! The support we’ve received since the news in July up until now has been incredible. Lost for words Bristol Rovers. Thank you,” said Anderton on Twitter.