A former Worcester Warriors rugby player says he is “so proud” of his goddaughter after braving the shave at her new salon in Newent.

Lee Fortey, who also played for Gloucester and Newport, had his long locks shaved on Saturday (March 26) to raise awareness of bowel cancer after being diagnosed with the disease last October.

The hairdresser trusted with the task was Beth Broady, who has opened Broady’s Hair and Beauty Salon in Broad Street and is also Lee’s goddaughter.

“It was a little bit overwhelming to be honest,” said Lee. “There was a lot of support and generosity. We’ve raised £8,600 for Macmillan in two weeks - and there’s more to go in.”

“I’m doing ok at the moment, there’s no further treatment required at the moment so it’s just about doing the right things and making a few lifestyle changes.

“I feel like I’ve got away with it a little bit - it really puts things into perspective.

Ledbury Reporter: Lee Fortey had his lockdown hair cut for charityLee Fortey had his lockdown hair cut for charity

“She’s my goddaughter and at 21 to have the ambition to open her own salon, I’m so proud of her. We were both quite emotional on Saturday but we managed to keep it together.”

Beth said: “I was a little bit nervous to start with as all eyes were on me and Lee, but as soon as I’d made that first cut I was fine.

“I asked Lee what he wanted to do with his hair after the shave, but he said his mates would give him more money if they could take a bic to it and shave it off completely. So he’s completely bald now. We all went to the rugby club afterwards and I actually did a double-take when I saw him because he looks so different.”

A dream come true

Beth said it’s always been her dream to run her own salon and has plans to also offer beauty treatments in the future.

“My mum worked as a receptionist in a salon and I always loved hair, doing different styles - I was always in the mirror,” she said.

“I did an apprenticeship when I left school at 16 and before that I was doing Saturdays with mum, replenishing towels, that kind of thing.

“My cousin’s nan owns the salon and closed it when Covid first hit. She decided she didn’t want to go back to running it but wanted to keep it in the family so offered it to me. I was blown away.

“It’s just me at the moment and it’s going well.”