The date was May 24, 1994.
Whitney Houston and Carrot Top had just been honoured as the top singer and comic in the world.
Final preparations were being made for the marriage between Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley.
Wendel Clark shaved.
All things must end. Some just take a little longer.
The former Leaf captain announced Thursday he is shaving his moustache for the first time since the Leafs were eliminated from the playoffs in Vancouver. The ‘stache hits the trash Oct. 29 during the Leafs last home game of October. Clark’s new growth will start coming in a few seconds later.
He is doing it for Movember, an international movement that encourages men to grow moustaches to raise funds for the detection and treatment of prostate cancer.
There is a certain international hierarchy of moustache owners. Salvador Dali ruled Spain. You had Stalin in Russia, Rollie Fingers in Oakland, Tom Selleck in Hawaii and, of course, Yosemite Sam at Warner Bros.
Clark grew the only moustache that would rival that of Lanny McDonald, another former Leaf, as hockey’s greatest facial hair runway.
“I’ve had one since I could grow one, probably junior hockey,” Clark said. “It started with just the top lip until the facial hair came in. Then you change it up and changed your version of it. The Fu Manchu came in the late 80s, early 90s.”
Last year Canadians raised $24 million for the charity which began in 1999 when a couple of Australian friends began growing their moustaches, mos in Aussie lingo, for fun.
“We wanted to grow our moustaches and we got a lot of grief from girlfriends and bosses and parents,” said Adam Garone, a co-founder of the Movember Movement in Toronto for the MLSE announcement about the MLSE Movember team. “The next year we said we need to legitimize this for the people around us. We were inspired by the women around us working for breast cancer.
“We looked at prostate cancer and saw there was nothing for that cause. We came up with our tag-line which is ‘Changing the Face of Men’s Health.”
Marlie goalie Ben Scrivens
and retired Toronto FC standout Jim Brennan and Clark will participate in the event and provide websites where supporters can donate. While he could not attend the press conference, the same goes for Dwane Casey, the Raptors head coach and a longtime mustache wearer.
The Leafs, meanwhile, will host a Movember Awareness Night, Nov. 15 when they play Phoenix.
“I’ve had a lot of acquaintances through hockey and teammates who have been through prostate cancer, “ Clark said. “One in seven Canadian men will have it but if you catch it early, it’s curable. That’s the big thing, awareness.”
The 44-year-old Clark, the owner of 1,600 penalty minutes in 793 NHL games, says there are a lot of ways to be a tough guy.
“The tough guy is the guy who looks after himself. We’re only here once. You stay on top of things and aren’t scared of doctors. As we get older there are more and more things you need to know.”
To join the MLSE team or to see how your favourite representative is coming along, go to http://ca.movember.com/mospace/network/MLSE