BEARDED Steve Phillips had a close shave to raise more than £250 for Halesowen’s private hospital’s charity of the year.

After five months in the making, the hospital porter at the West Midlands Hospital lost his whiskers in aid of Mary Steven’s Hospice, Stourbridge.

Consultant general surgeon Raj Patel was on hand for the cut throat shave, but Mr Phillips slipped out to professional barber Desmonds, of Cradley Heath.

The hospital’s sales and marketing manager Charlotte Worrall said Mr Phillip’s theatre clerk wife Petra was “delighted” to see him smooth shaven again, although he has now embarked on growing a musketeer-style moustache.