"IF I can play my part, then I will.”

That’s the view of young York Knights talent Taylor Pemberton, who will be shaving off his mullet for charity later this month.

The 20-year-old will brave the shave on November 30, with the proceeds in support of York-based mental health organisation Menfulness.

Established by three university friends that had been afraid to speak up about their own mental health issues, the organisation brings men together to socialise, exercise and enjoy themselves whilst providing a safe space to open up about their struggles.

It also offers counselling sessions for members.

Mental health partners of the Knights, Menfulness host free monthly groups at the LNER Community Stadium on the first Monday of every month between 7-9pm, as well as a range of sessions across the city.

Pemberton admits that he did not think twice about finding a way to help after speaking with trustee Matty Lewis.

“After having a chat with Matty, I wanted to jump on board,” he told The Press.

“The statistics with mental health are worrying, and people need to know that it is okay to seek help and to speak up to get the help that you need.

“If I can play my part, then I will.”

He first came up with the idea of shaving his mullet whilst driving back home from York, and with November Men’s Mental Health Awareness month, he feels that now is the right time.

“A lot of people are starting to grow Mullets for Mental Health, but as I’ve already got one, I’m doing it in reverse!” he laughed.

“My usual barbers, Black Bear, have offered to shave it for me, I’m just now waiting on everything else to get the green light.”

The hooker first made the move to York on loan from Betfred Super League giants St Helens at the start of August, before committing his future to the Knights with a three-year deal last month.

Despite only having plied his trade in the city for a relatively short amount of time, the organisation has made a huge impact on Pemberton.

“You see it day to day with people struggling with their mental health,” he explained. “They’re so passionate about helping people.

“Menfulness is really noticeable in York and it’s a great organisation.

“I struggle with mental health myself, but if you can get that support that you need, then it can save a life.

“They have curry nights, like last night, and provide a lot of social situations for you to open up.

“They have a massive impact in York, and hopefully, by doing this, I can also raise awareness of men's mental health back home in Lancashire."

Pemberton aims to raise £500 in a fortnight before the shave, and has been overwhelmed with the support he has received thus far.

At the time of writing, £190 has been raised via his JustGiving page, with teammate Ata Hingano, York Valkyrie’s Daisy Sanderson and coach Will Leatt among those to donate.

“I set a £500 target because there was just three weeks," Pemberton admitted.

"To reach that would be amazing. I didn’t realise that there would be so much support for it so quickly! 

“They’re unbelievable, so the more money that we can raise, the more lives we can save.

“The club have been so, so supportive of it - they’ve been amazing and they’re all on board.

“They all understand and know the work that they do, it’s quite special.”

To donate to Pemberton's JustGiving, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/page/taylor-pemberton-1699913660335?utm_source=IG

For more information about Menfulness, visit https://menfulness.org/ or the organisation's social media.