Charlie's whiskers go west for child cancer

17:00, Apr 18 2014
Charlie and Riley Faumuina
BIG BEARD: All Black Charlie Faumuina with beard and his 1-year-old son Riley before the Child Cancer Foundation fundraiser at Papatoetoe Sports Centre last Saturday.

All Black Charlie Faumuina is no longer the "big grizzly" he once was.

His trademark beard has been shaved off to raise money for child cancer.

The Auckland-based Papatoetoe Rugby Club player was inspired by a friend who raised money for the Child Cancer Foundation .

Hair cut
ALL GONE: Halene Ikiua of New Flava Barbers shaves Charlie Faumuina’s trademark beard at the Papatoetoe Sports Centre. Ikiua often cuts Charlie’s hair and says he always warned the rugby star he would get the beard one day.

"It's a good cause and I thought it would be a good idea to shave off my beard," he says.

Faumuina had extra reason to get involved after running into a primary school rugby coach whose son has cancer.

He has a little boy of his own and was touched by his old friend's plight.

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Faumuina's wife Rachelle says she is glad to finally see the beard go - especially for such a good cause.

"The last time it was off was two years ago on our wedding day. He's a handsome man under there," she says.

Faumuina says the beard originally took shape when he was younger.

"I was always a bit too lazy to shave and I grew into it and it became my look."

Child Cancer Foundation manager Megan Horsburgh says having the All Black on board has been great for the cause.

"We really rely on members of the public to fundraise so someone like Charlie gives us that extra boost to our profile and attracts more attention to what we do," she says.

"He's really committed himself and met some of the children so he's been very valuable," she says.

Faumuina's beard was shaved off at the Papatoetoe Sports Centre on April 12.

People have so far donated nearly $5000 as the result of Faumuina's efforts.

Go tochildcancerfundraising.org.nz/event/charliesbeardshave if you would like to contribute. 

Manukau Courier