Gary loses his mo as statue fundraiser nears its target

Gary Dickinson gets used to life without a moustache and hair while David Wroe displays the cheques from his King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry Memorial fundraiser at Tickhill Cricket Club
Gary Dickinson gets used to life without a moustache and hair while David Wroe displays the cheques from his King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry Memorial fundraiser at Tickhill Cricket Club

A fundraiser to honour some of Doncaster's war heroes is close to reaching its target.

The campaign to raise money for a memorial to the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry soldiers needs less than £6,000 to pass the £126,000 mark for a statue in the town.

The campaign's coffers were boosted again earlier this month, with former soldier Gary Dickinson losing his locks and moustache at the Tickhill Cricket Club.

Mr Dickinson's function raised more than £1,600.

He said it was worth 'looking like a clown' for. Mr Dickinson had his moustache for more than 50 years.

The 70-year-old was thrilled with how the function went.

"It went absolutely brilliantly," he said.

"It blew me away. I was thinking if I can make £1,000 I'd be doing well."

He lost his mo and hair, and Mr Dickinson's sons got in on the act, too.

John, 45, lost his beard, and Justin, 42, had his head shaved.

"I'm incredibly impressed by it.

"It's had a wonderful response from many hundreds of people."

The pair met up at the KOYLI Museum on Chequer Road on Friday for Mr Dickinson to hand the five cheques over.

Mr Wroe has big plans for the area where the statue will stand.

He envisions a place where the public can pay their respects.

"Where people can go, reminisce and look at it," Mr Wroe said.

"I want to make it something quite special for Doncaster."

Mr Wroe said the family aspect of the regiment, with wives and children accompanying soldiers around the world together, added to its appeal.

Many donations received had been from widows and collections at funerals.

Mr Wroe said a room at the racecourse had already been booked for the function on the big day.

The statue will be unveiled on August 1, 2018.

It's being constructed in Hull, and is 12 feet high.

The statue will weigh four tons.

If the target isn't passed beforehand, Mr Wroe intends to stop fundraising on March 31, 2018.