Top 20 Sportsmen with mentally dyed hair

We’ve all sported a bad hairstyle at some point. Cut it too short, grow it too long or even gone for something extravagant like a Mullet or a Mohawk. However, many of us are not in the public eye on a sports pitch. Leeds Rhinos caused a bit of a stir with their lovely new red numbers that was intended as a good cause for Sports Relief. However, after the side’s dismal defeat to St Helens, questions were raised over their professionalism and whether it affected their performance on the pitch. Regardless of your opinion on that matter (for the record, I think it’s a load of bollocks), here is a countdown of the Top 20 Sportsmen with mentally dyed hair:

20. Dan Hardy (UFC) – A Mixed Martial Arts fighter with a decent record of 23 wins out of 34 fights, Hardy is known as much in the cage for his hairstyles as much as his fighting ability. Whether his red Mohawk is enough to put opponents off is questionable…

19. Tom Chilton (Touring Car Racing) – Chilton is a British racing driver, who will debut in the World Touring Car Championship in 2012 after a decent spell at national level. You may recognise Chilton from appearances on Top Gear however, indeed he was rumoured to be The Stig for some time. This would be impossible though, as Chilton wouldn’t be able to show off that wonderfully coloured hair under the helmet…

18. Frankie Dettori (Horse Racing) – A legendary jockey, who has been described by some as perhaps the best of all time. Dettori also has a bit of character to him as well, highlighted during his spell as a captain on a Question of Sport. Franke turned blonde for a while in 2003, something that didn’t exactly suit his dark features, but to his credit, he raised over £1000 for charity in the process.

17. Marc Bircham (Football) – Bircham was a Canadian international who enjoyed a solid career in the Football League. He became popular with fans, especially at QPR, when he dyed his hair the colour of his team, earning his own terrace chant that went: “We love you Bircham because you got blue hair, we love you Bircham because you’re everywhere, we love you Bircham because you’re Rangers through and through” At least till he moved till Yoevil, where the shirts are green instead…

16. Abel Xavier (Football) – Plenty of people have dallied with peroxide blonde before, but not many looked like Abel Xavier after the effects. The Portuguese international enjoyed a long career at the top of the game, playing for both Liverpool and Everton. It’s fair to say that Xavier won’t be remembered for his skill as a full back though, but more his selection of mental hair-dos, perfected by the bottle of bleach he used to pour in willy-nilly.

15. Kevin Pietersen (Cricket) – Ah KP. England’s golden boy has always dazzled crowds, indeed with the help of Freddie Flintoff and 20/20, Pietersen has ensured cricket remains an entertaining sport. Kev’s ego often needs a good massage and his hairstyles make sure he captures the attention he so badly craves. Sporting a rather unusual skunk hairstyle, dyed blonde down the middle, Pietersen took the Aussies apart in his debut series, making that memorable 158 at the Oval that saved the game and won England the Ashes in 2005. To be honest, KP can bat naked with pink hair as long as he keeps spanking Australian bowlers out of the ground.

14. Freddie Ljungberg (Football) – Mr Ljungberg has never been short of confidence, just look at those underwear adverts that had ladies on the Tube falling down escalators left, right and centre for a second look. The Swede enjoyed a sensational spell with Arsenal and also introduced some sensational hair colours to England during his time in the Premier League. Possibly the only man in history to pull off a pink Mohawk effectively.

13. Joe Marler (Rugby) – Stuart Lancaster’s new look England team is all about discipline, respect and teamwork, with individuality slightly frowned upon. Perhaps that’s why talented Harlequins prop Joe Marler didn’t make his debut in this year’s Six Nations. Sporting a number of different hairstyles and hair colours, Marler refuses to change for anyone, not even his country, telling the Daily Mirror before the tournament: “I don’t see any reason why I would have to change, or why I need to tone down my appearance. There was a ridiculous article suggesting I might not get selected based on my haircut or my colourful boots. As for my hair? Yes it is not currently it’s natural colour. It looks like a 60-year-old woman’s blue rinse because the hair dye didn’t really work. But am I going to tone it down? No. There’s no need. What you look like doesn’t determine how good a rugby player you are or how professional you are. I am what I am.”

12. Jose Reyes and Harley Ramirez (Baseball) – Most people with ginger hair spend their life dying it or wishing it was another colour, so it’s unclear why Reyes and Ramirez of the Miami Marlins decided to dye their hair orange. Team bonding at it’s very best eh!

11. David James (Football) – They say all goalies are crazy, but none more so than David James. Known for his eccentricity between the sticks and apparent intelligence off the field, it would be nice to know what David was thinking most of the time he visited the barbers. Name a colour or style and James has adopted it. If only he’d concentrated more on training…

10. Phillips Idowu (Triple Jump)  – The poster boy for London 2012 and deservedly so. His gold in Beijing was a spectacular performance and everyone hopes he can repeat the feat again this summer. Idowu may not be your average athlete, indeed his red hair catches the eye leaping into the sand pit, but at least all those corporate swines stealing all the Olympic tickets will be able to know which one he is easily…

9. Jamie Lawrence (Football) – Average footballer, terrific hair. Lawrence was a regular for Bradford City during their brief spell in the Premiership and he almost made watching the Bantams bearable during that period, sporting a new colour of hair every week. Perhaps his teammates were so distracted, they forgot to defend as well.

8. Ron Artest (Basketball) – The NBA defensive player of the year in 2004 currently stars for the Lakers, meaning he has to resort to other methods to distract the attention away from Kobe Bryant. He tried his hand at rapping, but instead resorted to eccentric haircuts, including the classic yellow with purple writing. Why couldn’t the Lakers have chosen a black kit instead?

7. Colin Miller (Cricket) – For such a placid bunch, it’s surprising to see another cricketer hit the Top 20. However, Colin Miller was no ordinary cricketer, indeed the Australian bowler had an array of hair colours that put Shane Warne to shame. His rather fetching blue trim apparently gave Courtney Walsh a good chuckle at the crease. Not many people managed that during their career…

6. Ireland (Cricket) – Think back to the World Cup in India and the shockwaves the Irish team made. Not just with their stunning win over England, but also their less-than-stunning hair colours. The side rolled out an assortment of dyes to raise awareness for the Irish Cancer Society and we will now have the image of Kevin O’Brien celebrating scoring the quickest hundred in World Cup history with a white and pink barnet for ever. Only the Irish…

5. Djibril Cisse (Football) – The French striker has always been a bit barmy and England has been able to enjoy his antics during his spells at three Premiership clubs. Colourful character, but Djibril also has the colourful hair to match that. Jamie Lawrence eat your heart out!

4. Dennis Rodman (Basketball)  – Not many words can be used to describe Dennis Rodman. Let’s be honest, he is slightly odd. From wearing a wedding dress to promote his autobiography to that appearance on Big Brother, no-one knows what Rodman will do next. The same applies to his hair, indeed there isn’t a style invented that ‘Dennis the Menace’ hasn’t tried. I’ll let the picture do the talking.

3. Tonga (Rugby) – In terms of hair colouring, this one was ‘the one that got away.’ During the 2007 World Cup, the Tongan squad decided to embark on a bit of a publicity stunt, dying their hair green to show their gratitude for Irish bookmaker Paddy Power who supported them financially during the tournament. However, the curse of the bureaucratic red tape struck again and the IRB ordered them to change the colour, suggesting the stunt constituted advertising. So the rugby world missed out on the Tongan side performing with green hair. Might have clashed with the pitch a bit…

2. Romania (Football)  – During the 1998 World Cup, Romania faced a tough pool containing England, Colombia and Tunisia. To motivate themselves, the squad agreed to dye their hair peroxide blonde if they won the group, a feat no-one expected them to do anyway. However, a late winner against England meant Romania qualified as group winners and therefore faced Croatia in the second round. Fully equipped with bleach blonde hair. It didn’t do them any favours either as they crashed out thanks to a Davor Suker penalty.

1. Leeds Rhinos (Rugby League) – The Super League Champions had made a decent start to their season, before they made the trip to misfiring St Helens who had just sacked their coach. To raise money for Sport Relief, the Rhinos decided to organise a team hair-dying session, with the squad sporting rather fetching bright red tops for the match. However a 46-6 defeat left people questioning their professionalism, something that Leeds coach Brian McDermott scoffed at. It’s fair to say their faces were left as red as their hair though…

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