A TEENAGER has raised thousands of pounds to help a terminally ill friend by having her long hair shaved off - with a little help from star Burnley striker Danny Ings.
14-year-old Lucy Halstead, a pupil at St Christopher’s CE High School, Accrington, came up with the dramatic fundraiser to help Wil Handford, from Colne.
The 22-year-old cage fighter, who is a family friend, has been diagnosed with bowel cancer, which has spread through his abdomen and colon.
After his twin sister, Catherine, set up a fundraising drive to help finance further tests and treatment, Lucy came up with the idea to shave her flowing locks.
And England Under 21 international Danny started the process by cutting off 12 inches of her hair, before a hairdresser completed Lucy’s new look in front of her fellow year nine pupils at St Christopher’s CE High School, Accrington.
“It was the most surreal charity event I’ve been involved with. I felt nervous for once,” said Danny, who donated £500 to the cause.
“It was a lovely and brave thing for Lucy to do.”
On Thursday, Wil had his fifth chemotherapy session - he will have it every fortnight for three months - and received good news.
Posting on Facebook, he said his blood tests had shown a huge reduction in the amount of cancer cells in his blood.
He wrote: “Don't really know what that means but I can tell you I'm buzzing about it and it's definitely not bad news so wooooow.”
Burnley supporter Lucy, who lives in the town and is a keen swimmer and netballer, said: “I wanted to try to help Wil have a better life and live longer. I thought this was something I could raise the most money doing.
“I’ve always had long hair so I was a bit nervous, and my head feels cold now, but I’m glad that I’ve done it and I was excited that Danny helped me.”
Lucy has so far raised in the region of £4,000, with the fund topped up by pupils paying a minimum of £1 to have their photograph taken with Danny.
Further pledges can be made by contacting her dad, Andy Halstead, on 07966 702458.