Facial hair champion from Rugby wins bronze in the USA

Lee Andrews
Lee Andrews

A salesman from Rugby has scooped a bronze medal at the World Beard and Moustache Championships.

Lee Andrews (50), from Rugby, who works in the Midlands for national furniture industry supplier HPP (Hill’s Panel Products) received the medal at the world championships held recently in Austin, Texas, where over 700 competitors competed for a range of beard and moustache accolades.

Lee, who lives in Rugby town centre, said “I’ve been into competitive bearding for some time now. I do a lot of competitions and have won seven. I’m the British champion for the full beard and styled moustache category.”

He said the recent world championships were hosted by the Austin Facial Hair Club and the World Beard and Moustache Association.

The gold medal-winner in his category was Scott Metts, from Orlando, while the silver medal went to Owen Hicks, from Nashville.

Lee said: “For me, it was a massive honour to stand on the medal podium with those two guys, who are previous national and world champions. I will never forget it.

“The world beard championships is a huge event. I think it has been entered into the Guinness Book of Records for the largest number of entrants in a beard and moustache competition.”

Lee is a former joiner and industrial woodworking machinery expert who now works for HPP serving kitchen and bedroom trade fitters and companies.

He said: “A good beard a great ice-breaker. People love asking about beards. They often like to take selfie photographs standing next to me. Even if I’m just walking down the street, people like to stop and ask about my beard.

“The social element of beards is tremendous. Growing facial hair can lead to many things.”

In his spare time, Lee said he runs the UK’s largest online beard club, called Beard Club, which has 8,300 members. In addition to having fun, it has raised £5,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support.