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Great Australian sporting hair

Monday, February 06, 2012 - 3:00 PM
Source: SportsFan
Author: Michael Winkler

Not everyone prefers to blend in on the sporting arena. Here are six Aussies who let their follicles do the talking.

1. Bruce Macfie

Bruce 'Preacher' Macfie is tough. How tough? Put it this way: he lives and competes in Queensland, he dresses in electric pink shorts and he dyes his hair fluoro colours. Sure, it could be mentioned that he is Australia's greatest Muay Thai warrior apart from John Wayne Parr, that he has held six national titles and is a former WKA World Champion, that he has had 135 Muay Thai and kickboxing bouts plus five pro boxing outings. What most people remember about Preach, though, is the hair. Flaming red, crazy blue, iridescent purple – you name the colour, and Macfie will have had it in his locks.

2. Kerry-Anne Saxby-Junna

Kerry Saxby, as she was known when she first came to national attention, was a brilliant race walker. Her world record for the 5,000m track walk set in 1996 still stands, and she continues to hold several national and one Oceania record as well.  She won two golds and a silver medal from her three Commonwealth Games, but never walked to her true ability at any of her three Olympic Games. However her true interest for us is her spectacular hairdo. Saxby-Junna had one of the great peroxide mullets in Australian sport: blunt at the front, spiky on top and running (walking?) wild at the back. Only Shane Warne's bleached mullet comes close to matching it in Aussie sporting history, but we're giving the vote to Kerry – walking away.

3. Brian Ebersole

Read BigPond Sport's exclusive interview with Brian Ebersole.

Yes, Brian is a Yank – but he lives and fights in Australia so we're claiming him. In the wacky world of combat sports, Ebersole (a gun wrestler who has competed in shoot boxing but now concentrates on MMA) has found an original gimmick: he shaves his body hair into interesting shapes. You can't overstate the chutzpah of a man who sculpts a giant upwards arrow of body hair in order to let his opponent know where his chin is. Our favourite though is when he razors tufted circles around his nipples and a big hair mouth across his torso to create the world's creepiest smiley face.

4. Geoff Robinson

There have been some decent beards in rugby league – Noel 'Crusher' Cleal and David 'Wolfman' Williams boast two beauties – but the best was sported by Geoff Robinson when he played for the Bulldogs in the 1980s. His thick black beard looked like it was made of metal, and that's the way he played. The wildest looking player in league history, Robinson was a prop who hit the line with brutal ferocity. He had a stint at Halifax and there are reports that a couple of opponents tried pulling his hair. They were not well men afterwards.

5. Steve Hooker

Athletics is the natural home of the beautifully coiffed. We were tempted to nominate emerging high jumper Shani Sleman, already popular with photographers for the way her hair flies when she high jumps, but her career is still very young. We remember being mesmerised by the swaying tresses of distance specialist Krishna Wood, and the bobbing ponytail of hurdler Sonia Brito which stretched almost to her bottom. Bad boy John Steffensen boasts a decent collection of follicles too, but we couldn't go past pole vaulter Steve Hooker's leonine mane. He looks like Cameron Ling after a long session with Lillian Frank.

6. Alex Marcou

The speedy little man is a member of Carlton's Hall of Fame and played in three premiership sides during his career in navy blue. He prolonged his career with a final two seasons at struggling St Kilda. He gets our nomination, however, for the unashamed way he displayed the curly hair that massed across his shoulders. Along with teammates like Vin Cattogio, Bruce Doull and Warren 'Wow' Jones he was proudly hirsute. There was no manscaping at Princes Park in the 1980s – just plenty of flags.

The views in this story are those of the author and not necessarily those of BigPond Sport.

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