UNFORTUNATELY, controversial Newcastle United midfielder Joey Barton (pictured left) has shaved off his rather fetching upper-lip hair, bringing to an end his one-man crusade to make the 'tache popular amongst Premier League footballers.
However, even his moustache managed to cause a stir, as it seems anything to do with Barton does.
It certainly made him look more villainous. As well as showing an unlikely resemblance to Ian Rush (pictured right).
The former Man City player denied that his goal celebration during the 6-0 defeat of Aston Villa was anything sinister.
The 27-year-old, who was sporting the moustache, scored a superb 12th-minute opener and afterwards pointed to his facial hair while continuing to raise his arm aloft in celebration. The combination of raised arm and hand-to-mouth led fans on the internet to speculate that it was a fascist salute, but Barton confirmed there was nothing uncalled for in his celebration.
"I was simply saying 'the moustache is going'," Barton said, in reference to his vow to keep the moustache until Newcastle got their first league win of the season.
Manager Chris Hughton, who was probably perturbed to be asked a question about a player's hirsute nature, said that he understood the facial hair in question had already been removed straight after the game. He said: "I didn't see him do it, but I have heard it's gone."
Indeed, Barton appeared on camera sans 'tache after the match.