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Mophead Jared to face trim for charity

PUBLISHED: 10:34 01 July 2010 | UPDATED: 11:46 08 July 2010

HE has the backing of rugby legends across the globe but a 12-year-old Swaffham player will be taking to the front row of a different arena at the end of the month - the hair dressing salon.

HE has the backing of rugby legends across the globe but a 12-year-old Swaffham player will be taking to the front row of a different arena at the end of the month - the hair dressing salon.

Jared Milligan, who lives in Dereham, has been growing his blond locks for the past four years and they are now a good 60cms long.

But he has been so inspired by former Leicester Tigers player Matt Hampson, who was left paralysed during a training session with the England U21 side, that he decided to get it all cut off to raise money for Matt's charity.

The Matt Hampson Trust was set up following the “freak accident” in March 2005 when the scrum collapsed and he dislocated his neck and trapped his spinal chord. It has left him a quadriplegic and unable to breath without a ventilator.

But rather than wallow in self pity, Matt has astonished family, friends and the rugby community by his determination to live life to the full and a huge fundraising effort has taken place to help him and secure his future.

His trust fund now raises money for other people who find themselves in a similar situation.

Jared, who is also part of the Norfolk Development Squad, said he heard about Matt's story through a summer rugby course he attends every year with Leicester Tigers at Swaffham rugby club.

“The coaches from Tigers told us about Matt and his Trust,” he said.

“I have been growing my hair for the last four years and it was the Tigers coaches who gave me the nickname “Mophead”. My hair is very long now and hopefully being sponsored to get it cut off will help raise money for Matt's initiative. I am also sending the hair to a cancer charity to make wigs.”

Jared's dad Ian Milligan, youth chair at Swaffham Rugby, said both Jared and his brother Joe have been following Matt's progress via the media and by talking to the Tigers coaches.

“It was through hearing about other fundraising events that Jared came up with this idea,” he said. “The rugby community is really behind him and we have had support from players including Matt Dawson and Lewis Moody. Recently (legendary All Black) Jonah Lomu wrote on his Twitter account about the event and said it was an excellent cause and Jared should “keep playing the game with heart and passion”.

“He was completely blown away by that and really thrilled. We have already raised over £500 and he never dreamed he would get even a tenth of that.”

Jared will be getting his hair cut by Mark from Dereham salon Dads & Lads on Friday, July 30 in front of his friends at the end of the Tigers summer rugby course at Swaffham RUFC.

To sponsor him visit www.justgiving.com/mophead-gets-a-haircut

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