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Keith Harrison: Stop drinking and your hair grows back, apparently

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Stop smoking, they said. You'll get your sense of smell back. I've got news for you; I work in Wolverhampton city centre. I don't want my sense of smell back.

And I don't smoke anyway.

So nobody is going to sponsor me to stop doing something I've never done in the first place.

I can't do without midget gems and – be real – I'll never manage to stop swearing for more than four weeks. Bugger that.

It'll have to be the drink.

Goodbye Guinness. So long, sauvignon blanc.

Bye-bye Babycham.

Yes, I'm officially off the sauce for the entire month of January, in aid of Cancer Research UK.

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So, come on, what date is it today? January 27??Still?

I don't know about you, but it's been a long month so far. Mind you, it's going well, thanks.

Initially, I'd hoped to raise £150 but then I thought – pah! Let's go for it . . . an ambitious £250.

Amazingly, that figure was reached within days and a healthy 100 per cent mark was posted on my Just Giving page.

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But then I was worried it might put people off donating any more, so I went up again; £400. Nailed it.

Then £500. Kerrrr-ching! Sorted.

Next – a whopping £750. Soon surpassed. The grand total so far is £890 with a few days left to hit the magic £1,000 mark. No pressure.

I even got an email from the CR people telling me I was officially 'a legend' – something I've not been called since I stopped disembowelling strikers in the Stafford?Sunday League many years ago.

There are other upsides too.

I've lost weight, apparently. Not that I've dared step on any scales since I hit 40, but my girlfriend, when pressed – repeatedly – did finally concede:?"Errr . . . mmmm . . . yeah, you're a bit thinner . . . I think."

For some reason, she thinks it's had a greater effect on my hair:?"So much thicker. You know alcohol is poison, maybe it's been bad for your hair."

Yep, that's right. My thinning, mousey mop isn't down to 45 years of stress and toil but the odd pint of the black stuff. Doesn't she realise that Guinness is good for you?

Why would the brewery lie?

But therein lies the rub; I feel a bit of a fraud.

You see, I don't drink that much anyway. I'm up with the Partridge most days and 5am alarms don't sit very well with a skin-full the night before.

Don't get me wrong; I've been tested over the past few weeks. I saw my proud Preston boys beaten by Wolves while surrounded by home fans, and had to drown my sorrows with a Diet Coke.

The following week was even worse, when they conceded a 97th minute equaliser at home to Coventry – with their only shot on target in the entire game. Gulp.

I'll have a Lucozade. And make it a large one.

I've wanted to toast my daughter's mock exam results and my boy mastering Seven Nation?Army on his new bass guitar, even if it is seven notes over and over again.

But it's been incredibly worthwhile and I want to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has backed me.

The response from readers, colleagues, friends and family has been amazing and I'm hugely grateful for your support.

And it's given me the fundraising bug. Plans are already afoot for next year (you can't do these things too often – people get fed up with you).

Apparently, jumping out of a plane is 'too dangerous' for my other half 'especially at your weight'. So I'll go for a charity headshave and have the hair clean off.

That's if the Guinness doesn't get it first.

See Keith Harrison's Just Giving page and leave a donation here

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