When Monty beat
MONTY Panesar is
the proud recipient of the 2006 Beard of the Year Award. Late
last year, he edged out Cuban leader Fidel Castro in a poll
conducted by the Beard Liberation Front (BLF), an informal
network of beard wearers.
Canterbury Rowan Williams and veteran trade union leader Paul
Mackney were tied for the third place after a vote of BLF
supporters for the hirsute person who has made the most impact
on public life in 2006.
Panesar had been a
front-runner for the award right from the beginning, and BLF
organiser Keith Flett said it was a combination of facial hair
and on-field heroics which tilted the scale in the spinnerís
"He may have
a beard for slightly different reasons, but at the end of the
day itís still a beard, and itís a magnificent beard,"
Andrew Flintoff had won the inaugural edition of the award in
2004 and was declared joint winner, along with Paul Mackney,
last year for his gingery-blond designer stubble.
The Beard of the
Year Award is a prize awarded in December of each year in the UK
by the BLF to acknowledge someone in the public eye who has
created positive publicity for beards. ó Agencies