IT BEGAN as an attempt to confound a Beatles song about one of the most recognisable signs of aging.
But now, a grandfather is set to prove he is a cut above the rest after smashing his initial fundraising target for a charity funding research into an incurable kidney disease – by having his six-inch long beard shaved off.
Retired schoolteacher Dugald Campbell began growing his facial hair on his birthday a year ago after being inspired by the fab four’s song ‘When I’m Sixty-Four’.
The Lennon-McCartney written track from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band includes the lyric “When I get older, losing my hair”.
However, he will celebrate his 65th birthday with a trim at a barber shop in Portobello as part of an effort to raise funds for the The Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) Charity.
But after breaking through his original goal of £500 within 48 hours, he is now set to raise almost triple that for the charity.
Mr Campbell’s granddaughter Carys Wraight, five, suffers from the condition, which causes the growth of cysts within the organ, potentially leading to kidney failure and the need for a transplant.
And after using his new look to appear as Santa at Towerbank Primary over the festive period, he revealed Carys and older brother Tom, seven, will get the first cut at Buddies on Portobello High Street this Sunday.
Mr Campbell said: “It started as a bit of a joke, but my wife Kris really doesn’t like it now. She will be the happiest out of all of us when it is shaved off.”
“I decided I should keep it until I’m no longer 64, but I thought I should do something at the end of it, so raising money to help people like Carys seemed the best way to do it.”
He continued: “The response has been incredible, I can’t thank everyone enough for their donations and hopefully we’ll get a few more coming in.”
Daughter Morven admitted she was among those encouraging her dad to get rid of the beard, but revealed she was “shocked” to see the level of support given to his campaign.
She said: “He was delighted to hit 64 and still have all of his hair, but I certainly won’t miss seeing him with the beard.”
“Having said that, It is typical of him to shave it off for charity, especially one so close to our heart, so that is fantastic. If we had known that a year ago, we wouldn’t have been as determined to see it go.
“Everyone has just been so generous with their donations, although I do think that tells you how people feel about the beard.”