A Hair-Raising Study of The Beautiful Game

Much like their choices in WAGs, clothing and out of hours entertainment, the follicular predilections of the world’s leading football players are of constant interest to both media and fans. However, never before have modern football’s finest, foulest and most baffling hairstyles been assembled within the pages of one handy pocket-sized tome. Until now.

From Ronaldo’s infamous ‘forehead wedge’ to the hypnotisingly weird luminous antennae-braids of Taribo West, every conceivable ‘do’ of note is documented in loving and exhaustive detail by James Chambers within the pages of ‘Footballer’s Haircuts: A New History’.

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The book is thoughtfully arranged into categories, allowing one to compare and contrast David Seaman and Emmanuel Adabayor’s wildly differing takes on the ponytail, or to enjoy the visual spectacle of a full decade of Djibril Cisse’s experimentations in colour and form, all of which variously defy taste, gravity and logical explanation.

There is, of course, an entire section devoted to the ever changing locks of David Beckham, documenting his journey from stroppy curtain-mopped teen firebrand to tousle-headed national talisman (via ill-advised dalliances with peroxide, Mohicans and hobo-chic).

Glossy, sharply written and hugely satisfying to dip into, as light reading goes it’s a cut above the rest (a cut that’s died green and pink, partially shaved off, and then threaded with beads).

Footballers' Haircuts: A New History by James Chambers is published by weidenfeld & Nicolson and will be available from 30 September for £6.99.

Words by Max Olesker