The Great British Beard-Off

Brian Eva, far left, British beard champion, with his fellow competitors. Picture by Richard Jon Photography
Brian Eva, far left, British beard champion, with his fellow competitors. Picture by Richard Jon Photography
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Blackpool has become home to a most unlikely British champion.

Brian Eva’s wild whiskers won him first prize in the full natural beard category at the British Beard Championships - making his impressive mane officially the best in the country.

The dad-of-two, who lives on Mayfield Avenue, South Shore, attended the competition in Liverpool alongside fellow members of the Sandgrown Beardsmen - Blackpool’s own bunch of beard enthusiasts, who meet every month at the Church Street Barber Shop.

He said: “I wasn’t really expecting to win. The category was quite strong; it was one of the most fiercely fought categories.”

More than 500 people attended the British Beard Championships, which took place on October 15.

Other Blackpool ‘beardsman’ David Heyhurst walked away with second prize in the beard under one inch category, and Granville Unsworth won third place in the ‘verdi’ category.

Steelworker Brian said: “There’s always some people who take it very competitively, but for us it was just a fun day and night out.

“It gets more of a following every year. This was the third championship and every year it seems to be getting bigger and bigger.

“There were guys there from America, Germany, Norway and New Zealand.

“I’m happy with the result. How many people can call themselves a British champion?”