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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 December 2005, 10:24 GMT
Flintoff takes Beard of the Year
Andrew Flintoff
Andrew Flintoff usually has some sort of stubble on the go
England Ashes hero Andrew "Freddie" Flintoff has taken the 2005 Beard of the Year award.

Flintoff shared the 2004 title with union leader Paul Mackney, but organisers felt his profile this year left him a deserved solo winner.

The all-rounder was man of the series in England's victory over Australia.

While not having a conventional beard, Flintoff usually sports some level of heavy stubble. The award was given by the Beard Liberation Front.

King Kong director Peter Jackson was the runner-up, with Mr Mackney, leader of the lecturers union NATFHE, taking third position.

BBC Radio 4 presenter Brian Perkins and Morning Star editor John Haylett were also recognised.

The BLF is an "informal network" of beard wearers.

BLF organiser Keith Flett, who has a flowing grey-tinged beard, said: "It comes and goes a little bit although he has been more consistent in having it this year.

"It is a thing about sportsmen and actors that beards tend to come and go a bit and we have to live with that.

"It stands out as something that is unusual in his sphere. Cricketers didn't used to have beards in the more recent past. If anybody stepped on the field of play with even some stubble they were despatched back into the pavilion to have a shave."

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