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PRO’s Fotis Bazakos has hailed his Greek heritage after growing an impressive moustache during Movember.
The 34-year-old referee is one of several PRO officials to have grown a 'stache throughout November to raise funds for the charity, which highlights issues surrounding prostate and testicular cancer, and mental health.
“Having a Greek mom and dad probably helped with the process, but I’ll admit that I’m not actually the hairiest Greek guy ever”, Bazakos told proreferees.com.
“I’m a little thankful for that, but also appreciate that I didn’t get patchy blonde bits like Dave Gantar.”
Canadian Gantar opted for a handlebar design, which was there for all to see during his assignments in a busy month. As for Bazakos, he had been consigned to the training room after injuring his knee in October and undergoing surgery.
Unable to take to the field, he had the potential to grow something wild and elaborate, but opted for the simple, basic moustache instead.
“It was an interesting month – it’s definitely the longest I have let my facial hair grow. We are used to being clean shaven from a refereeing perspective so it’s always been an automatic decision to shave.
“It’s the first time I’ve done Movember. My dad has had a moustache ever since I was a kid and he was trying to convince me to keep mine. He thought it looked really sharp.
“He didn’t persuade me. The thing is, you have to be careful for crumbs. Not just that, but every surgeon and physiotherapist I saw, I felt like I needed to explain it when they looked at me a little bit funny.
“Everyone said, ‘oh you must be doing Movember’ as opposed to, ‘why are you trying to look like a guy from the 70s?’”
Bazakos' facial hair exploits helped him raise $1,200, finishing fifth in PRO’s Official and Assessor List, which was topped by Gantar.
PRO achieved third-place overall in the MLS Works Network, with a total of almost $13,000. The Network has raised nearly $100,000 in total.
Minnesota-based Bazakos has got the feel for Movember, and is already looking ahead to next year and bettering his fundraising efforts.
“Getting to $1,000 was my target so I’ m happy to pass that. I’m already thinking of ways to prepare better for next year in terms of getting people to donate.
“It’s a great cause and was good fun being a part of.”