TRANMERE Rovers players and staff are joining together to Grow4Joe in support of team mate Joe Thompson’s fight against cancer.
Joe, 24, was diagnosed with Nodular Sclerosing Hodgkins Lymphoma in October and has had the first four of 12 chemotherapy infusions at the Christie Hospital, Manchester, as part of his treatment.
The campaign was started by midfielder Max Power, who has pledged to go without a haircut for the whole of 2014. He hopes his 12 months of “Grow 4 Joe” will raise important funds for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, a charity solely dedicated to research into blood cancers, including leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma.
He said: “I’m growing my hair for 12 months in support of my good friend Joe.
“We’re team-mates on and off the pitch and I want to do my bit to help raise money for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, which was the charity Joe selected.
“Cancer is one of those words that scares everyone. The more money that goes towards researching it and beating it, the better.
“I’m sure, by the end of the year, I’ll look a bit of a mess but it’s all for a very good cause.”
Joining Max in taking part until the end of the season are Danny Holmes (beard), Matthew Pennington (hair), Ryan Lowe (beard), Gregg Blundell (hair), John Stokes (beard) plus youth team players Sam Ramsbottom (hair), Luke Pilling (hair), Ben Maher (hair and beard), Ben Jago (hair), Mitch Duggan (hair) and Lewis Moynes (hair).
The challenge has also been embraced by a number of players at other clubs across the Football League.
Joe backed their efforts, saying: “It’s a fantastic gesture from Max and the rest of the lads and it really means a lot to me. I’d love others to join in and it would be great to see some Tranmere fans growing their hair, moustaches or beards until the end of the season, around the same time I am due to finish my chemotherapy.
“My aim is that we’ll not only raise money for a worthy charity but also help raise awareness regarding the symptoms of cancer and also bring to light the incredible work and research that is being done daily to cure this terrible disease.”
Donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/grow4joe where so far more than £2,000 has been raised.
Supporters can follow the challenge on Twitter @Grow4joe and on Instagram: Grow4joe