AN Armagh bus driver is set to shave his mammoth beard for a worthy cancer charity.
Liam Conlon – an extra in Game of Thrones who is recognised near and far by his distinctive beard – will undergo the big shave as part of this year’s Georgian Day celebrations on Saturday, November 24.
The popular Translink driver’s chosen charity is Cancer Focus NI, given a family connection, as well as being the company’s official charity partner.
The ‘Shave Off’ will take place as part of a family fun day starting at Armagh Bus Station with a coffee morning at 11am and everyone is welcome.
There will be face painting and a range of child friendly activities in advance of the beard shave at 2.30pm.
Liam told the Ulster Gazette: “My beard is a big part of my life, it has become my pride and joy so it’s a big thing for me to get rid of it.
“Obviously cancer has affected almost every family at some point. My own late mother suffered from it twice in the form of breast cancer.
“I just want to raise awareness and do my bit. The beard will be missed but it will be worth losing it to help those in need,” he added.
Gerry D’Arcy, local Translink service delivery manager, said Liam is “a really popular Ulsterbus driver, recognised and distinctive by his big beard”.
“We really want to rally around Liam and raise as much as possible given this is a Game of Thrones beard, and the charity Liam has selected is deserving in its work to support people in terms of early intervention, prevention and also helping individuals and their families through a cancer diagnosis. So please be generous and support Liam!”
Louise Greer, corporate fundraising officer, Cancer Focus NI, said: “We are so grateful that Liam has chosen to shave his beard off for Cancer Focus NI.
“Having met Liam and having seen the beard, I know how much of a challenge this will be for him.
“He’s bound to feel chilly for a day or two. The family fun day will be a great opportunity for Liam, his colleagues and the general public to get involved and raise money for such a worthwhile cause.”
Cancer now affects one in two people and over 13,000 cancer diagnoses are made in Northern Ireland every year.
Cancer Focus NI is the leading local cancer charity committed to tackling cancer by supporting research, providing services for cancer patients and their families and by advising people how to reduce their risk of the disease.
Louise added: “All Cancer Focus NI services are provided free of charge for cancer patients and their families but we do need public support to help raise the necessary funds to continue our valuable work. So we would like to say a huge thank-you to Liam - the money you raise will make a real difference!”
November is traditionally Men’s Health Month and Translink are keen to support its charity partner in raising as much as possible to support cancer prevention and to help people living with cancer.
To donate to Liam’s Shave of Thrones, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/liam-conlon1