A close friend of The Voice UK winner Stevie McCrorie has shaved off his much-loved beard to raise funds for ex-Celtic star John Hartson’s cancer charity.
Barry Ferguson, from Glasgow, was inspired to undertake the sponsored shave after pal Stevie became an ambassador for the John Hartson Foundation.
The 36-year-old, who lives in Maryhill with fiancee Karen and three-year-old daughter Cassie was delighted when his friend won the fourth series of the BBC talent show The Voice UK in April this year.
He said: “I met Stevie through a mutual friend and I was the driver when he went on tour with his band, Stevie and The Moon back in 2010.
“We’ve been friends ever since and had our daughters at around the same time so have kept in touch.”
“My wonderful beard and I had been together for two years but I decided it was time for a change and planned to shave it off before I went on holiday to Salou in Spain at the start of September.
“I wanted to get some sunshine on my inevitably pale face and was going to just shave it off without telling anyone but my fiancee Karen suggested that I raise some money for charity in the process.
“I chose the John Hartson Foundation as Stevie is an ambassador and because the charity is such a worthwhile cause which I feel deserves more backing and awareness.”
Barry took the plunge and got rid of the facial fuzz with the help of little Cassie.
He said: “I was pretty apprehensive as I haven’t seen my face for two years. I didn’t know what was under there, and it looks pretty weird when I catch myself in the mirror, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it.”
As well as working in the music industry, Barry has a part-time job in a local supermarket but his colleagues had never him without the beard.
“Reaction has been mixed but I’ve had fantastic support from friends and family and I’m glad to have raised £480 for the Foundation.
“I didn’t really set a target when I started fundraising but I’ve raised more money than I ever imagined. More people must have wanted rid of the beard than I thought!
“I’ve had fantastic support from friends and family and I’m glad to have raised a fair bit for the Foundation.”
Stevie, who has just finished work on his first album, said: “I’m extremely proud of Barry. His beard was his trademark and his beloved friend, it even saw him make an appearance via a music clip at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
“Barry is a lovely guy and always supported me on my journey so I’m happy to support him through his beardless journey.”
John Hartson will be in Glasgow this weekend for the Foundation’s annual ball which take place at the Glasgow City Hotel in Cambridge Street tomorrow (Saturday) night.
The ball is being hosted by Mrs Brown’s Boys’ star Gary Hollywood and guests include East Dunbartonshire charity campaigner Lisa Hague, fiancee of Celtic star Kris Commons.
Stevie McCrorie has kindly donated the guitar he played during his campaign on The Voice for the live auction at Saturday’s event.
A host of other items, including signed Celtic memorabilia, are available in the silent auction ahead of the ball. Bidding is open until 11pm on Saturday through this link
To find out more about the John Hartson Foundation visit www.johnhartsonfoundation.co.uk