Watch three-year-old's horrified reaction as Leeds dad shaves beard for Rob Burrow and MND

A Leeds dad has shaved his 'precious' beard to raise money for motor neurone disease (MND) - leaving his daughter in floods of tears.

By Abbey Maclure
Thursday, 21st January 2021, 11:47 am

Ryan Thomas, 36, had been growing his beard for six years and has given it the chop to raise money for the MND Association charity.

The dad-of-two, from Rothwell, was so moved by his hero Rob Burrow's story that he pledged to do something to help.

He shaved his beard and head on Monday night leaving him unrecognisable to his three-year-old daughter, who had never seen her dad without his locks.

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Ryan Thomas shaved his beard for MND - leaving him unrecognisable to his three-year-old daughter

The Leeds Rhinos fan shared a video of his youngest daughter's horrified reaction but says she is slowly getting used to his new look.

Ryan said: “On Monday she wouldn't come anywhere near me, by Tuesday she could sit in the same room as me but she kept covering her face up!

"When I checked on her the next morning, she put her head under the quilt she started crying.

"She forgets every morning and I have to talk her round and explain that I am still her dad!”

Ryan has joined hundreds of others in fundraising for the MND Association and has raised more than £1,200 on his JustGiving page

Ryan has joined hundreds of others in fundraising for the MND Association and has raised more than £1,200 on his JustGiving page, smashing his original target of £777.

He was brought to tears watching BBC documentary Rob Burrow: My Year with MND and said he "had to do something" after hearing of Burrow's struggles with the illness.

The Rugby League legend has been recognised in the New Year's Honours list for his services to Rugby League and the MND community.

His illness, which was diagnosed 12 months ago, has created national headlines and led to a huge increase in donations and enquiries to the MND Association.

Ryan said: "I watched the documentary and when you see him outside of rugby, behind the shirt, you just see a dad with three kids.

“He’s about my age, with kids a similar age to my two girls, so it really got to me.

“I was in bits watching it and I said to my wife that I had to do something. I couldn’t stop thinking about it for the whole week."

You can donate to Ryan's JustGiving page here.

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