Selby’s close shave for cancer charity

Selby before and during the hair and beard shave. Pictures by Michael Howard
Selby before and during the hair and beard shave. Pictures by Michael Howard

Fund-raising was a case of hair today, gone tomorrow for retired hotelier Selby Brown.

The 76-year-old, from North Sunderland, has spent the last two years growing his hair and beard, only to have it all shaved off for charity.

Selby after his beard and hair cut.

Selby after his beard and hair cut.

Selby, a Freemason, went under the razor at the Masonic Hall in Seahouses, where the Brethren of Farne Lodge watched as almost 12 inches of beard was reduced to stubble. A similar fate was in store for his long hair.

But the shave-off very nearly never happened as only months before, Selby broke his back while fishing. He spent three weeks in hospital and is still receiving treatment.

He said: “The accident was a bit of a blow but I was determined to complete the hair and beard challenge I’d set myself.”

Selby decided to raise funds for Prostate Cancer UK after talking to a woman in the village whose husband had been diagnosed with the cancer before he died.

“It really brings it home when people you know are diagnosed with this cancer and I wanted to help in any way I could,” he said.

He has raised £1,474.

“I would like to thank everyone for their amazing generosity. Freemasons in Northumberland have been most generous as have the people of Seahouses and beyond,” said Selby.

“The only problem is now I’ve got to buy a woolly hat to keep warm.”

Every year, more than a million men are diagnosed with prostate cancer. It is the most common form of cancer (other than skin cancer) diagnosed in men.

Prostate cancer has the potential to grow and spread quickly, but for most men, it is a relatively slow growing disease.

Symptoms can include urinating frequently, especially at night, pain or burning with urination, passing blood and pain in the hips, pelvis, spine or upper legs.