Moustaches come off across Norwich

Men all over Norwich breathed a sigh of relief this week as they were finally allowed to shave off moustaches grown throughout November to raise money for cancer charities.

Movember is an annual challenge where men are sponsored to grow elaborate moustaches. All the money raised goes towards tackling diseases that affect men such as prostate cancer.

It started in Australia in 2003 and has grown rapidly since then, last year raising �26m worldwide.

More than 100 men at Aviva in Norwich took part this year, including Dave Fearns, 34, an underwriter from Loddon.

He said: 'So far the current total is �5,991 but that's before the Aviva contribution. They've said that they will contribute up to �100 per person. I was getting a bit of stick about it, it was a little bit on the ginger side, so it was time to come off and return to normal. I wasn't getting much attention from the other half either.

'We're back to our normal selves, everyone's feeling the chill on the top lips now. It was great fun. Women have things like fun-runs and pink ribbons, there's a lot of charities out there for women's causes.

'There's not really much for men to do. Prostate and testicular cancer are usually late diagnosed because there's a stigma about going to the doctor and having a check-up, so it's basically something for the blokes to get involved with.'

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The entire Norwich City Football Club squad also took part in the event and raised a total of �1,753. Captain Grant Holt, pictured, and defender Michael Nelson acted as 'Moustache Police' and handed out �100 fines to anyone caught clipping or shaving. The facial hair may have brought the team good luck as they beat rivals Ipswich 4-1 on Sunday, just two days before they were allowed to shave it off.

A group of 11 teachers at Notre Dame High School took part, but had to wait until yesterday when they were treated to a cut-throat shave by city barbers Esquire.

Pupils all paid 50p to enter the school's sports hall and see their teachers 'de-fuzzed'. In total they raised almost �1,000 for the Movember charity.

One of the barbers, James Jewell, said that the moustache was the most painful area to shave. 'It's not comfy at all, we might get a few watery eyes,' he said. 'They're raising a lot of money, I think it's spot on.'

Maths teacher Peter Hedges, 23, was awarded a sash for raising the most money but admitted that his moustache was 'quite hard to see'.

'Even though I've got the least growth I raised the most. On the website I've got �125 but I had a pot in my classroom for the kids and that got up to �52.

'I had one Year Seven kid give me a pencil case full of pennies and I counted it out and there was �6 in there,' he said. 'That's been the nicest thing for me.

'I think my girlfriend will be more relieved than me. It'll be nice to get rid of it.'

Are you doing something unusual to raise cash for charity? Call reporter Matthew Sparkes on 01603 772439 or email