Fred raises eyebrows – and funds – for cancer

by Gazette Reporter
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A DUBLIN man who started a campaign to raise funds for a friend’s cancer battle is continuing the journey in her memory.

Fred Murray’s ‘Comb Over for Cancer’ was temporarily stalled by the Covid-19 lockdown, but now he’s hoping to continue the challenge.

He started the hair-brained scheme last November to raise funds for his good friend Fiona Cribben, but sadly she passed away three weeks later.

Now the 44-year-old from Rathgar wants to continue with the challenge which he hopes will net €25,000 for cancer care and research.

Fred who has shaved his head every two weeks for the past 20 years, decided to brave the style taboo of a comb over instead of a moustache for Movember.

Last November he started growing the two sides of his hair and now has tufts of growth measuring almost 6cm on either side of his head.

Fred told Dublin Gazette: “It was always going to be a two-year journey to grow it from no hair to 13 or 14 centimetres which is what you need to achieve a comb over.

“I wear a hat most of the time and people who haven’t seen me much because of the pandemic all say ‘give us a look at your hair’.

“I do look in the mirror and say ‘what have I done’. It is an unusual hairstyle to have at 44. It is a bit mad looking but I haven’t noticed anyone giving me strange looks..”

Fred’s local barber, Abner Brown in Rathmines, keeps his locks as tidy as possible and he will ultimately decide which side suits better for the comb over.

He has so far raised e3,285 and is hoping people will start to donate again now that the pandemic restrictions have eased.

He said: “I thought of this idea a long time ago but never quite had a reason to do it then. But I wanted to do it for the charities which helped Fiona.

“She was first diagnosed with breast cancer eight years ago. She was an inspiration to me and many others. I hope I can do her great spirit and memory justice.”

On Fiona’s recommendations Fred has opened donations to Our Lady’s Hospice and Care Services, Breast Predict and Aoibheann’s Pink Tie.

Follow his journey on his Facebook or Instagram (both Comb Over for Cancer). To donate visit

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