Everything is better back in the day. Those childhood memories of TV Shows, Family life and products always seems better. What is certainly better back in the day was the standard of facial hair in rugby league.
No charity derived temporary moustaches, designer stubble or wank O’clock shadow. Pure mos and beard that were yet to be ruined by hipsters drinking their kale shakes and appearing on various Ladbrokes ads. Facial hair you could set your clock to.
Here’s our list of the best of the best facial hair from rugby league’s days of yore. A shame just a few have stayed true and retained the fuzz. We tried to stay true to just the mo, but sometimes there’s a beard too good to leave out.
FULLBACK – Gary Belcher
Simply put, it was a classic, typically 80’s moustache, immaculately groomed. Ready for a game of league and soiree in equal measure.
WINGERS – John Ribot and Eric Grothe
Full and bushy, John Ribot’s mo was an example to all, and a shame the architect of Super League didn’t keep that one. Eric Grothe channels Mick Fleetwood with his legendary beard and mullet combo.
CENTRES – Brett Kenny and Warren Boland
Nothing screams 80’s rugby league gold like Brett Kenny and his mo, extra points for retaining it post game. Warren Boland looks a little Ian Chappell, and held onto that for most of his post league media career.
HALVES – Wally Lewis & Ewen McGrady
One is probably the most known and revered facial hair in rugby league. The other one of the most obscure successful footballers of all time. Wally’s might be more important, but it isn’t better. The fact Wally still has his shows his dedication to the art.
BACK ROW – Kirk Reynoldson, Rod Henniker, Kevin Hardwick
Three great pieces of facial hair work. Kirk does his best impression of the drummer for Creedence Clearwater Revival, whilst Rod Henniker does his best Weird Al. Kevin Hardwick has plenty to offer the facial hair fan, and also the Deadwood/Wild West fan with his Wild Bill Hickok.
FRONT ROW – Martin Bella, Cliff Lyons, Kerry Helmsley
Martin Bella gets as angry on the field as his moustache does with his Basil Fawlty impression. Cliff Lyons channels Lionel Ritchie with a real classic. Kerry Helmsley has so much to offer. No one has sported facial hair quite like him. We went with the Bee Gees disco look here, but there’s an impressive back catalogue of hair and fuzz available.
BENCH – Bryan Niebling, Greg Dowling, Rod Reddy, Sam Backo
A ferocious bench with facial hair to match. All four have mos and beard you wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley. Usually the darkness is caused by their gargantuan facial hair. 18th man – Noel Cleal.