A RETIRED policeman renowned for his long hair and bushy beard raised more than £750 after shaving it all off for charity.
Mick Dunckley, 58, of High Street, Northwood, admits he bore a striking resemblance to Jim Royle, the character played by Ricky Tomlinson in comedy sitcom, The Royle Family.
But that was until 10.45am yesterday (Wednesday) when, despite having a beard since 1969, he agreed to go bald in aid of the Mayor of Hillingdon, Councillor Shirley Harper-O'Neill's three chosen charities – Age Concern, EAR4U and P3, which provides a range of holistic services for young people.
Mr Dunckley, who retired from the force after 30 years in 2006, and now works as a community safety manager for Hillingdon Council, said: "My hair was getting a bit long and needed a cut but when someone suggested I shave it off, my first reaction was, after 41 years, 'absolutely no way!'.
"Then they asked whether I would do it for charity, I didn't think twice – until I was actually sitting in the chair in the council chambers!
"I asked people to sponsor me and I think it is a unusual way to raise money, rather than just put your hand out or shake a collection box."
The married father-of-four is no stranger to collecting money for good causes, having been named fundraising hero in the 2006 Gazette and Uxbridge College Local Heroes awards.
The judges praised him for raising thousands of pounds for charities including the Sarah Marie Foundation, which provides holidays for seriously ill children and their families.
Mr Dunckley added: "It all started in 1980 when our daughter, Sarah Marie, sadly passed away aged nine weeks from cot death.
"We started raising money to research the issue and it just snowballed from there.
"I must admit it will take me a bit of time to get used to my new look. It hasn't been this short since I was a baby, and lots of people have walked past before doing a double take and saying they didn't recognise me until they heard my voice.
"I don't think I will grow my hair and beard back just yet – I think that would be cheating – but I wouldn't rule out growing it back eventually."