The most famous beard in the NRL is no longer.
Penrith Panthers winger Josh Mansour has shaved his beard - reducing his wife to tears of disbelief - as part of Bowel Cancer Australia's annual Decembeard campaign.
Mansour surpassed his target of $10,000 to become the highest fundraiser in Australia this year.
After shaving his beard for the first time since October 2014, Mansour told NRL.com “I didn’t even recognise myself.”
“I just looked at myself in the mirror and I’m fully rattled. I was so nervous. When I sat down in the chair I was more nervous for that than before a footy game.”
And Josh wasn’t the only one who was left shocked by his new, younger look.
“When I got home and saw my wife (Daniella), she started to cry,” Mansour said.
“She kept staring at me and said ‘you look like you’re 17 again’. She said she felt like she was in a time warp.”
While Mansour’s wife was confused about his freshly shaven face, luckily his nine-week-old daughter Siana was not put off by Dad’s new look.
“She was laughing at me,” Mansour said.
“Then when I started to talk she was smiling at me, so thank God for that.”
Mansour decided to shave his iconic beard to raise much needed awareness and funds for a cause close to his heart.
His wife’s uncle and a good mate’s sister have battled bowel cancer.
“At the end of the day it’s a small sacrifice,” Mansour said.
“It’s for a good cause. It just felt like the right thing to do. I have no regrets at all. I’d do it all again in a heartbeat.”
Bowel Cancer Australia’s Joni Thomes said Mansour’s profile helped spread the Decembeard message to a wider audience.
“It’s designed really to get people thinking about and talking about bowel cancer which is something most people don’t like to do,” Thomes said.
“That’s one of the reasons why Josh’s support was so fantastic because lots of people like to talk about rugby league, but bowel cancer, is not so popular.
“He looks great with a beard – and I don’t say that about all guys with beards – but he looked great without a beard. Most importantly it was that smile afterwards, just knowing that he did something so incredible. We really appreciate it.”
Bowel cancer is Australia’s second biggest cancer killer and affects one in 13 Australians. Every week 80 people lose their lives to the disease.
To find out more information about bowel cancer, visit: www.bowelcanceraustralia.org