Michael Baggaley column: Our tribute to the Movember maestros
I T'S Movember so expect to see moustaches galore this month at Stoke City, Port Vale and, if the whippersnappers can grow one, Crewe Alexandra.
We can only praise the footballers who are doing their bit to support Movember and raise awareness of prostate cancer.
But what of the players who stuck with their taches' for longer than merely a month?
Hold on to your hats. This column gives you the Potteries Football Movember XI.
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BETWEEN THE STICKS
Peter Fox, Neville Southall, Bruce Grobelaar, Barry Siddall, Ed De Goey. It's been almost obligatory for Stoke and Port Vale keepers to sprout whiskers.
However, Grew gets our vote for having the sheer gumption to pair his moustache with a 1980s perm.
It was a classic combination from a character who has served Vale in four different decades, either as player, coach or assistant manager.
Since parting company with the moustache at the turn of the century, Grewy has gone on to play a key part in Port Vale's promotion push.
No-one knows for sure what happened to the moustache, but it is believed to be seeing out its days in a wildlife sanctuary near Stafford.
AT THE BACK
The Stoke City and Port Vale player... hang on, Port Vale?
That's correct. Stoke hero Skeels, who is City's club-record appearance holder with 592 games, moved to Port Vale on a free transfer after leaving Stoke in 1976.
It can't have been easy for a genuine Stoke legend to play across the City, but he maintained a stiff, and indeed bristly, upper lip throughout.
He only played five games for the Valiants, but was treated with respect by the Vale faithful. Looking like a scary Charles Bronson probably helped.
Another Stoke City hero, although in his early days his facial hair was overshadowed, quite literally, by his afro.
He made 269 appearances for the Potters and, when they played his testimonial, he clambered into the crowd to watch the second half in the Boothen End.
Forget your moustaches, our back three is completed by the honest-to-goodness beard of Bob Delgado.
Micky Adams has never spent a bean in transfer fees at Vale Park, but 34 years ago the Valiants were spending money like it was going out of fashion.
Awash with money from the new football lotteries, Vale allowed manager Dennis Butler to spend a club record £40,000 on Peter Farrell in November 1978 and, a month later, £30,000 on Bob Delgado from Chester City.
Delgado had always been magnificent when playing against Vale, but he only stayed at Vale Park for 14 months after making his debut in a 6-2 defeat at Barnsley.
IN THE MIDDLE
Another proud beard-wearer as well as a terrific player for the Vale and an often under-rated manager at Vale Park.
Frankly, he could have been clean shaven or looking like Captain Caveman, his wild staring eyes could still turn a reporter to stone after an ugly defeat at Hartlepool.
It's 2005, Johan Boskamp is in charge at Stoke and repeats of 'The Office' are still being shown every night.
Welcome then, Peter Kopteff, the winger from Finland who arrived complete with a David Brent goatee.
He only played six games for Stoke. Fact. However, as he sat on the bench during the 3-0 home defeat to Hull City, I like to think he said 'Go and get the guitar, Johan'.
Beagrie entertained the Stoke faithful with dazzling deeds of derring do on the wing. So, it was only natural he should wear an Errol Flynn-style thin moustache.
Flynn, as Robin Hood, would kick down the castle doors and swing from the Sheriff of Nottingham's chandelier.
Beagrie may have been trying his own tribute in 1991, when after a night out during Everton's pre-season tour of Spain, he flagged a lift back to his hotel on a motorbike.
He was unable to wake the night porter so took charge of the bike, rode it up the steps and straight through the hotel's plate glass window. What's more, it was the wrong hotel.
A superb goal-poacher who began to grow a beard at the start of Vale's 1959/60 FA Cup campaign and refused to shave it off until the Valiants were knocked out.
Let's be honest, in some seasons this would involve the appearance of nothing more than five o'clock shadow.
But that year the Valiants went all the way to the fifth round. Their 2-1 home defeat to Aston Villa featured a whopping 49,768 crowd, not to mention an unrecognisable Barnett.
The best moustache in Potteries football history.
My sports desk colleague Pete Smith compares Big Bren's magnificent brush to the soup-strainer sported by Postman Pat favourite Ted Glen.
I leave you to make your own mind up.
The worst moustache in Potteries football history.
Was it a moustache or a trick of the light? Frankly who cares? In the late 1980s, young Stoke striker Shaw offered inspiration to teenagers such as myself whose efforts to sport a moustache required an upper-lip comb-over.
THE burly, bearded, hit-man was voted Vale's player-of-the year in 1978/79 and almost certainly voted most scary striker by Fourth Division defenders. He had previous experience with Everton, but fell out of favour after punching coach Stewart Imlach.
The front-man became a cult hero at Vale Park. He specialised in flattening goalkeepers after chasing up-and- unders – accompanied by chants of "Bernie's Eeeevil" from the Vale faithful.