Gary, or Gaz to his mates, is a very proud husband, father, pet owner and our first Ginger Beardsman.
In the past two years he's moved into a new house, married the girl of his dreams (You're so cute - Pete), and is expecting a baby in June...his wife that is. The scans didn't show up any beards as yet but he remains hopeful.
A keen gym goer, he also enjoys his food and lets face it, coming from Portstewart, there are some great restaurants!
So, how long have you been growing your beard?
For the past 7 or 8 years I always had stubble then last April I had an epiphany and decided to was time to unleash my ginger facial follicles to show their true potential. So it began. The razor got retired.
Then in July I married my beautiful wife. For the occasion I decided to trim the beard but due to a piss poor trimmer from amazon, a bearded disaster occurred and I was left looking like I'd gotten in a fight with a lawnmower with blunt blades. So the beard got trimmed off to stubble. That was a dark day for me. I was not best pleased.
But then I began growing again. I focused and focused and pushed my face to grow something greater and bigger than ever before and the bearded gods answered. It came back and with a vengeance.
Can you tell us about the impact your beard has had on your career and personal life? Does everybody like it?
Now not everyone likes it but that is vastly outweighed by the comments given daily about it being an awesome beard and that lots of fellas say they wish they could grow a beard like mine. Puts a smile on my face. I'm doing this for the people.
It hasn't affected my job thankfully and everyone in my personal life has no objections to it.
Would you consider shaving it off for the right job or has it now become a part of your identity?
It has become part of me now and I don't want to shave it off. The last time nearly broke me. It has yet to be trimmed.
Beards are currently huge in the fashion press. How do you feel about beards being considered a fashion accessory?
Fashion comes and goes but beards have been around since the beginning and are here to stay. I think that the difference in beards these days are that men are looking after them and treating them as they should be. Keeping them conditioned and glistening is the key.
What’s the best part about having a beard?
The stroking. The best part about having a beard is stroking it. Calms me down and helps me think.
How much time (on average) do you spend grooming your facial fur each morning?
The beard regime takes a while in the morning. It gets oiled after getting out the shower and gets combed through. Then after the pomade is put on my head, the beard gets a little blow dry just to help keep the shape. Then it's time for the balm to give that little extra shine and hold and sort out any strays. Then the moustache gets a comb and some good medium hold wax. A little twizzle of the ends and then another comb through. It's not easy taming this mane.
But some days it's just nice to leave the beard naked, as God intended. Au naturelle just to let it breathe.
Do you have any more special tips or any advice for our beard aficionados?
If I had any tips it would be that you have to look after that beard. It has to be conditioned every few days and it can never get enough oil. Less broken and damaged hairs and it'll grow longer.
Beards or tats (if push came to shove)?
Beards or Tats is not even a question. There is no choice to make. I have both and I love them equally. I have both sides of my chest, shoulders and upper arms tattooed and plan more and the beard is apart of me. Next.
Who are your ultimate bearded idols, past and present?
My ultimate bearded idols are Ricki Hall for getting the beard out there, Michael Legge for growing thee greatest beard in the UK at present, and Gwily McPugh for showing the world that a ginger beard is gods greatest gift...lol....and i have respect for anyone who chooses and takes the time to grow and cultivate their facial garden.
Would you shave your beard off for love?
Luckily for me I don't have to choose between my beard and love. I married the girl of my dreams in July and she loves my beard. She always has a hold of it...lol (What about the Beard? - Pete)
Anything daft happen recently due to you having a beard?
I haven't had any major stories happen regarding my beard but it does normally get a lot of attention on nights out etc. I've had people wanting photographs with me and random boys coming up to shake my hand.
One guy came up to me at a wedding recently and shook my hand and just said "you know what that's for."
At that same wedding I was outbearded by the photographer but he spotted me in the church and as soon as the service was over he made a beeline and we congratulated each other. It wasn't all about the bride and groom.
What’s the worst thing about having a beard?
I cannot honestly think of any bad points. I absolutely love having a beard even though some don't appreciate it and give me some stick (but I think they are secretly jealous). I wouldn't change it for the world.