Cooper's hair-raising cut all for a good cause

It’s been a fixture of the Intrust Super Cup for the past 18 months – but arguably the most iconic haircut in the competition is set to be no more.

Mackay Cutters skipper Cooper Bambling will be shaving off his luscious locks next week at the club’s major fundraising event, the Lads Lunch, and not only is he freeing his head from its hair cage, he is more importantly hoping to raise money for two great causes.

“(It’s been) 18 months I’ve been having it on the back of me head for,” Bambling laughed when asked about the mullet fans had grown to love.

“It would never have lasted this long if I didn’t speak to Lianne (Gee, marketing and partnerships manager at Mackay) about cutting it off at this Lads Lunch.

“Obviously, being Breast Cancer Awareness month this month; I had a couple of close, good friends lose their mums in the past few years, I chose the Cancer Council (as a cause to donate to).

“And also, Change the Game. Mental health, I think that’s affected anyone who has played football ... we have all lost a mate or know someone who has lost a mate, so I think that’s a great cause there, mental health, Change the Game, and that’s one run by the Cutters.”

For Bambling (and his partner), the past 18 months he has been growing out his mullet has been a lesson in patience.

“I will miss it – but at the same time I am looking forward to getting rid of it,” Bambling said.

“(Honestly), I can’t wait to get it off my head. I’m normally a guy that doesn’t wash my hair – and I have to wash it every two to three days now – I prefer two-to-three months to be honest!” he laughed.

“I just hate the look of washed hair.

“I think she’s pretty happy it’s going too – but deep down, she’ll miss it. She’s putting on a brave face at the moment.”

Intrust Super Cup fans can donate directly to Cooper’s campaign: Cooper's Mullet Goes For Charity

While a happy-go-lucky presence off the field, Bambling is focused on the job when on the field and admitted that season 2019 didn’t go quite to plan for his side who showed what they could do in patches, but struggled to stay in games for 80 minutes.

“Looking back on the season, we had a lot of close games there, especially at the start of the season, two-to-four points, and if we win those games, we are in contention for the finals,” Bambling said.

“But then it comes down to injuries – there was only one time there that we played with the exact same 17 the following week, so that hurt us quite a bit.

“(I am) sad to see Pup (Steve Sheppard) leave; but the new coach (Michael Crawley) coming in will hopefully add something different ... we do have a good playing roster, and hopefully we can start winning those tight games.

“He was one of the assistants at the (Canberra) Raiders when I was down there, and I know he knows a lot about football ... which is a positive.”

For Bambling himself, he is hoping to stay healthy after being forced out of the game with a long injury layoff during the season.

“I was out for 15 weeks with a broken ankle that didn’t help at all ... that was a pretty tough time – but got through it and the ankle has pulled up alright now and hopefully all good for the season next year,” the halfback said.

Intrust Super Cup fans can donate directly to Cooper’s campaign: Cooper's Mullet Goes For Charity

But for now, the focus is on raising as much money as possible to help out people in his local community.

The Cutters have also pitched in and every $20 donated will net the supporter one entry into the draw to win a 2019 Mackay Cutters Change the Game jersey.

The winner to be drawn at the Lads Lunch taking place on October 25 and announced via the Mackay Cutters Facebook page.

Keep an eye out on the QRL social media channels next week to catch the “mane” event as it happens.