Super League star Eorl Crabtree gives Bryan a close shave

Eorl Crabtree cuts off Bryan Usher's pony tail.
Eorl Crabtree cuts off Bryan Usher's pony tail.

Rugby league fan Bryan Usher has a tale to tell, but no pony tail to show, after he was surprised by his sporting hero.

Bryan, who plays for Bridlington Hockey Club U12s and is a regular ballboy at Bridlington Town, has been easily recognisable for years because of his distinctive hairstyle.

So his family were shocked when he decided to have his pony tail cut off to raise money for charity.

But Bryan, who goes to Bay Primary School, got the biggest surprise when they arranged for Super League star Eorl Crabtree to do the honours with the scissors.

Bryan’s grandad Ray Pollard said: “He just came out with it one day, and said ‘if I had my pony tail cut off, would people sponsor me, to help the nurses who helped grandma?’.

“It just came out of the blue because his pony tail was his pride and joy.

“He had been growing it for three or four years so it was the ultimate sacrifice.”

Bryan, who plays rugby league for Beverley Braves U11, set about finding sponsorship for the Macmillan Unit at Scarborough Hospital, where his grandma Margaret had received treatment.

He had more than £500 pledged so the family decided his efforts deserved a day to remember when his hair got the job.

A call to Look North, resulted in Bryan being invited to Huddersfield Giants’ Galpharm Stadium last week.

But his family told him it was because his brother Tony’s team Beverley Braves U16s, were needed to launch the Yorkshire League which they are playing in for the first time.

“We kept it all a secret and when we got there, we said we were a bit early and would he like to go for a tour around the stadium.

“When he walked down the tunnel, Eorl was waiting for him in the dugout and said ‘I have heard there’s somebody playing rugby league with longer hair than me and I don’t like it’. When Bryan saw Eorl his knees went and he was speechless.”

The giant England international chatted to Bryan before he became stylist for the afternoon in the changing rooms at the Galpharm, watched by Bryan’s parents John and Mandy, brother Tony and seven-month-old sister Raychelle.

He was then invited to the TV studios in Leeds and a film of his big day was shown on Look North that night.

Anyone wanting to sponsor Bryan can call his grandad Ray on 606756.