Surgery claim af­ter new look

Daily Star Sunday - - FRONT PAGE - ■ by ISOBEL DICK­IN­SON isobel.dick­in­[email protected]­ ■ by JOHN MA­HONEY

ENG­LAND star Andros Townsend has sparked claims he’s had a hair trans­plant thanks to his mighty mane.

Snaps show the Crys­tal Palace player’s locks look­ing much fuller than they did three years ago.

And a lead­ing sur­geon says the re­sults are most likely down to a trans­plant.

Dr Asim Shah­malak said Townsend had gone from hav­ing thin­ning hair to a full head.

The doc, from Crown Clinic in Manch­ester, said: “Andros ap­pears to have ‘done a Rooney’ and had a hair trans­plant – that is the only FOOT­BALL gi­ant Peter Crouch is learn­ing how to be­come a ma­gi­cian.

The for­mer Eng­land hot­shot has team-mates scratch­ing their heads with his off-the-field wiz­ardry.

And he re­vealed one of his new year res­o­lu­tions is to gain mem­ber­ship of the Magic Cir­cle.

The Stoke City striker, 37, has been fas­ci­nated by magic since he was a lad and tries his tricks on the Cham­pi­onship side’s play­ers.

He reg­u­larly goes from ta­ble to ta­ble on the con­clu­sion you can draw from the dra­matic change.

“He looks years younger and has got a fan­tas­tic re­sult.

“From hav­ing thin hair right across the front of his scalp, he now has a won­der­fully full head and thick bushy hair right across his hair­line.”

He said he had seen a 30% in­crease in Pre­mier League play­ers hav­ing hair trans­plants over the last five years. Dr team coach armed with his deck of cards, coins, bits of rope and sponge balls.

His Stoke pals are se­cretly hop­ing the 6ft 7in hit­man will daz­zle them at their Christ­mas party – al­though dad-of-three Peter doesn’t be­lieve he is good enough for pub­lic ap­pear­ances just yet.

The bean­pole for­ward, mar­ried to 32-year-old model Abbey Clancy, longs to join magic’s gov­ern­ing body so he can mix with some of Shah­malak, who has helped play­ers in­clud­ing ex-Manch­ester City star Didi Ha­mann, said: “The rea­son is be­cause they need to pro­tect their im­ages rights which can be worth mil­lions each year.

“The stark truth is that big brands don’t want to work with bald stars – they want am­bas­sadors who look young and fresh.

“So in­creas­ing num­bers are se­cretly go­ing un­der the knife to keep their spon­sors happy. Also, their wives or girl­friends are of­ten mod­els and they want them to look good.”

You can see the dif­fer­ence in Townsend’s hair in our photo the world’s most gifted en­ter­tain­ers.

One friend said: “Peter re­ally pulls off the tricks he’s learned very well.

“But like all good ma­gi­cians he won’t tell the boys how they are done.

“He has got a real in­ter­est in per­fect­ing these stunts and has taught him­self from scratch just by read­ing books.”

A spokesman for the Magic Cir­cle said: “We hope Peter can meet the cri­te­ria re­quired. We wel­come members from all walks of life.” from Crys­tal Palace’s clash with Chelsea at Stam­ford Bridge last month.

Dr Shah­malak, whose pa­tients in­clude Calum Best, also treated sev­eral big-name footie play­ers who pre­ferred to keep their trans­plants pri­vate.

He said: “I get play­ers ap­proach­ing me reg­u­larly who need help with their hair. They will get in touch just as the sea­son is com­ing to a close.”

Townsend’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive de­clined to com­ment.

■FOOTIE HAIR-O: Townsend now and, left, how he used to look

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