He wowed us all with his hair-raising performance at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

And now Southampton diving star Pete Waterfield is hoping to grow some locks of his own, after undergoing a hair transplant.

Pete, 31, said he has had the procedure, which costs upwards of £4,000, to stop being mistaken for a “thug”.

With a strong cockney accent and a shaven head, a style he chose to disguise the hair loss that dogged him as a teenager, the father-of-two claims that people often mistake him for a thug and wanted to soften his image.

The procedure saw Pete have around 4,200 hairs moved from the back of his head to the top of his scalp, at the Crown Clinic in Manchester.

Pete, who lives in Southampton with wife Tania, 30, and his two children Lewis, 11, and Marshall, four, said: “I started going bald when I was 18, which is when I got really serious about diving.

“I had completely lost my hairline and the only way to cover it up was by shaving my head.

“I think some people wrongly got the impression that I was a bit of a thug, which could not be further from the truth.

“I am a loving family man who has dedicated my life to diving and helping others.

“I wanted to soften my whole image and make sure that I was a little more approachable to strangers.

“The best way to do that was by having a hair transplant.

“I am so glad that I have had it done - I feel so much more confident now.

“I am really looking forward to being able to grow my hair for the first time since I was a teenager and present a new image of myself to the world.”

Experts at the clinic said it would take about a year for the results of the procedure to show, as the transplanted hair starts to grow back.

The process was carried out by leading hair transplant surgeon Asim Shahmalak, hair loss expert from hit Channel 4 series Embarrassing Bodies.

Dr Shahmalak said: “Like a lot of the celebrities I have treated, he found that the transplant significantly boosted his self-esteem and has made him much more marketable to TV shows and brands.

“He looks and feels a lot younger, too.

“I sure it will lead to lots of fresh opportunities for him.”

Manchester United footballer Wayne Rooney underwent a similar procedure last year.