Nick Anderton: Bristol Rovers shave heads in support of Anderton’s cancer diagnosis

Bristol Rovers players after having their heads shaved
Bristol Rovers players including captain Paul Coutts (second left) shaved their heads in support of team-mate Nick Anderton

Forty Bristol Rovers players, coaches and staff have shaved their heads in support of defender Nick Anderton, who is undergoing chemotherapy after being diagnosed with bone cancer last summer.

Manager Joey Barton was among those who went under the clippers for the cause.

Anderton, 26, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in his femur and also had an operation in October.

The club chose 16 January to go bald in honour of Anderton’s squad number 16.

“I just think it shows what everyone thought of Nick around the building,” Rovers captain Paul Coutts told BBC Points West.

“He played on pretty much from January last year, I think with what he thought was a sore knee, and it shows what sort of character he was.

“He put his body on the line and helped us get promotion and the great scenes at the end of last season, and what he would give to be back in the dressing room with the lads, we just wanted to show our support to him.”

The club set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for Anderton and his family, with the total surpassing £32,000 as it stands.

Joey Barton getting his head shaved
Barton said his team was going to be a “commentator’s nightmare” when they next play as they will all have shaved heads

Barton said the aim was to “raise awareness” around the cause and money to support Anderton – whose contract with Rovers is due to expire this summer – during his treatment.

“There’s going to be some odd stares when we get to play games, a commentator’s nightmare – a team of skinheads. But it’s a phenomenal cause and it’s the least we can do,” Barton added.

The head shaving took place at British Barbers Co in Clifton, Bristol, managed by Terry Joyce, who is a fan of rivals Bristol City. He took charge of shaving Barton and Coutts’ hair, all while wearing the red shirt of the Robins.

“I told them I’d do it on one condition: I don’t want money or anything as it’s for charity, but I’m wearing a City top. I’ve got his [Anderton’s] number on the back, that’s the best I can do,” Joyce said.

“Nick was a good bloke as well when he did come in here. I wish him all the best.”