'Charlo' looks a changed man

Graham Charlo Charles - before
Those who know Graham ‘Charlo’ Charles might have been surprised if they bumped in to him near his home in Neyland this week because he looks a different man – and seems at least 10-15 years younger than when they last saw him.
I speak from experience because when I bumped into Charlo at the final cricket league match of the season where his beloved local team beat Lawrenny to scoop the league silverware he boasted his usual luxuriant beard, which I understand had been with him for the best part of 20 years and always made him look like a cross between Leonardo Da Vinci, Karl Marx and Grizzly Adams!

Graham Charlo Charles - afterBombshell dropped in great secrecy

He looked exactly the same the next day, when we had our usual chat when he was accompanied as ever by son-in-law Mark Pritchard, cheering grandson Tom Pritchard on as he helped Neyland 2nds win the Alec Colley Cup.
It was then that he dropped a bit of a bombshell as he told me, in the strictest confidence, that he had told Tom he would give him £25 if he took a hat-trick in the final and would shave off his beard if they won the Colley Cup for the second time in three years.
Tom had a chance at achieving the hat-trick as he had two wickets in successive balls but the third one just evaded Tom’s clutches – but, big softie that he is, Charlo gave him the £25 quid anyway because soon afterwards he took an excellent one-handed catch!

Whiskers all gone the next day!

And then came that dramatic change of appearance at Cresselly where Charlo looked much younger and had a brilliant day as he cheered on his team – minus all his face fungus!
“I cut most of it off in front of my mirror in the kitchen,” he told me, “then got down to the serious stull of using my old shaver – which did a better job than I thought after so long just sitting in a glass.
“I must admit I was really surprised by my change of looks but I daren’t tell you what some Neyland folk said because although it was very funny they were just a little bit rude!”

Not much cricket but very happy days on the rugby field

Coincidentally, Charlo didn’t play a lot of cricket in his younger days because of work commitments but he did play rugby for Neyland until he was 20, captaining the youth team and enjoying regular seconds’ rugby, and then had 20 very happy years as a flanker at Pill Parks with Llangwm RFC.
“It was brilliant there,” beamed Charlo,” and I played a couple of games for the county with Peter Roberts and Martin Charles as my back row mates.”
“I still love going to watch Neyland play cricket and rugby now,” he admitted, “but if we have a cold spell this winter I think I might well have to grow my beard again!”