A PENSIONER from Reading has shaved off his hair and 36-year-old beard to raise money for charity in memory of his late wife.

Roy John Hancock, from Caversham, celebrated his 72nd birthday last week (July 25) in his favourite local, The Clifton Arms, surrounded by friends.

READ ALSO: Reading branch of Leeds Building Society donates to three local charities.

But this birthday celebration was slightly different to normal as he was taking part in a charity shave.

Mr Hancock was raising money in memory of his late wife, Anna, who sadly passed away from throat cancer, last year, raising money for the Duchess of Kent Hospice who looked after her in her final hours.

He said: “Well I lost my wife God bless her, Anna, last year on the 7th June and I promised her I would have all my beard, and everything shaved off and raise as much money as we can for the Duchess of Kent Hospice.”

He added: “She was transferred from the Royal Berks on the 7th June and the only thing is she didn’t last a day there.

“But I was there when she passed and that is more important to me than anything in the world.”

Mr Hancock raised £1,200 for the hospice and is thankful for all the support he has received from his friends and locals at the pub.

He said: “All the guys and girls in the pub have been fabulous even before everybody knew about this.

“Anna and I would come up for a Sunday dinner and things and they loved her as I love her, and I still love her.

“I think about her every day.”

Local, Tommy Burn, was at the pub supporting Roy and explained they met three years ago when Roy first walked into the pub and asked for a game of pool.

Mr Burn said: “He’s a lovely person, he’s a good person and everybody loves him.

“He’s very popular.”

He joked: “Hopefully when he comes in tomorrow he doesn’t get IDed.”

Prior to the shave, Mr Hancock explained he felt “so happy” but “a little bit scared” at the thought of losing his beard, explaining he hasn’t been clean shaven in 36 years.

He added: “I tell you it’s going to be very weird, but I’m pleased to do it.

“But the thing is it’s going to grow back the very next day because I do not like being shaven, ever.”