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Ex-West Brom star Andy Johnson's close shave for NHS

His mum would practise on his flowing locks while working as a hairdresser.

Andy Johnson
Andy Johnson

So it’s fair to say Baggies favourite Andy Johnson is now very particular when it comes to his impressive head of hair.

The retired midfielder is best known for his all-action displays for Albion between 2001 and 2006.

But the 46-year-old’s iconic barnet has also made him a cult hero among Baggies supporters.

Now, though, the former Wales international has vowed to shave off his hair to raise money for the NHS as they continue to battle the coronavirus pandemic.

So far he has received £2,000 in donations.

But AJ, as he is known, is desperate to raise more – especially as his hair means so much for him.

“I’ve had my long hair for 22 years – it would have been longer, but when I was at Nottingham Forest I fell asleep in a pub and Nicky Morgan shaved it off,” Johnson said. “When I was younger I was a bit of an experiment for my mum.

“She’d put this condom-like thing on my head and dye my hair all different colours.

“I had to have all sorts of haircuts, I had the Kevin Keegan perm for quite a while.

“But when I got to 15 I put my foot down and told her enough is enough – and I’ve pretty much had long hair ever since.

“Anyone who knows me knows what a big sacrifice it is for me to shave it all off.

“But the NHS are doing such fantastic work battling coronavirus, the least I can do is go bald for a bit.

“It’s fantastic what the frontline workers are doing so I just want to give a bit back.”

In August, former Albion striker Lee Hughes is planning to raise funds for the NHS by holding a charity match at Halesowen Town.

A team of Albion All Stars will take on Hughes’ own All Star XI on August 2.

It is at that game that Johnson will have his head shaved. And he is hoping a hairdresser will be on hand to tidy up his new look.

“Lee Hughes is holding his charity game so I thought that was the perfect place to have my head shaved,” Johnson added. “It’s a few months away so that gives us plenty of time to raise lots and lots of money.

“I’d love to raise £10,000. I’ve got £2,000 already and I just want to keep going and get as much as possible.

“My daughters want to have a first go with the clippers.

“But after that I’d like a hairdresser to finish it off. It will only be a number two all over but I’d like someone who knows what they are doing!”

The money Johnson raises will be given to the Dudley Group NHS Charity. To donate, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/andyjohnsonhaircut

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