Ashley Cain says he's keeping his beard as late daughter Azaylia used to touch it
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Featured Image Credit: GMB Instagram/mrashleycain
Ashley Cain has explained the heart-warming reason why he plans on keeping his long beard.
The former footballer revealed that he's keeping the facial hair as a tribute to his late daughter Azaylia, who tragically died from leukaemia in April 2021 at just eight months old.
Speaking to ITV's Good Morning Britain on Wednesday (24 August), Ashley used the platform to promote his charity, The Azaylia Foundation, which works to fight childhood cancer.
When asked by co-hosts Rob Rinder and Kate Garraway to explain why he refuses to trim his beard, Ashley revealed it was a way for him to stay connected to his late daughter.
"When we were in hospital we couldn't go out so I couldn't get a hair cut so I ended up developing and growing this beard and as my daughter got older she began to grab hold of it," he began.
"She used to hold it and rub her feet through it and because I haven't got her here with me anymore, I wanted to keep my beard because she's touched these very hairs on my face, and I don't trim it, I don't shape it."
Making reference to the biblical character of Samson, who got his superhuman strength from his long hair, Ashley concluded: "I leave it because I feel like Samson and my beard's my strength."
Elsewhere in the interview, Ashley also spoke briefly about his relationship with his ex-girlfriend and Azaylia's mum Safiyya Vorajee.
The couple split in March of this year, almost 12 months after the heartbreaking death of their daughter.
Despite the break-up, Ashely insisted that he and Safiyya would be bonded forever.
"Me and Safiyya went through I feel a battle together, a war together. That experience bought us closer together," he said.
"Safiyya gave me the greatest gift any father could have side or dream for in Azaylia, we're going to be connected for the rest of our lives.
"I'll look after her, she'll look after me, and hopefully together we'll look after Azaylia's legacy."
The Azaylia Foundation, founded by Ashely and Safiyya works to fund treatment for childhood cancer.
As well as working to spread awareness, the foundation focuses on advancing early diagnosis, new treatment availabilities in the UK, equipment, training, and clinical trials.
The group also help young patients access treatment that isn't typically covered by the NHS.
You can donate to the The Azaylia Foundation here.