CROSSFLATTS Cricket Club second team captain Lee Bailey’s sponsored head shave for Manorlands Hospice in Oxenhope has captivated the local area so much that the first target was met very quickly.

With support now coming in from businesses, celebrities and even Australia, it seems the hospice could be in for a mammoth donation come the end of all this.

The original target of £500 was reached within the first day, so event organiser David Hall had to have a rethink.

Hall explained: “I cannot believe how quickly this fundraiser got going, and how much it captured the imagination of our neighbours, families, friends, work colleagues and local businesses.

“We broke through the £500 barrier straightaway, which caused a five hour backlog on the JustGiving website due to the flurry of generous donations.

“We then started using the hashtag #GeneralWatch on Facebook, in homage to Lee and one of his nicknames (The General), and everybody got involved and joined in with the online banter.

“Last Tuesday, I FaceTimed Lee and I told him that we needed to raise the stakes. We agreed that if we raised £1,250 or more by noon on Saturday (April 25), he would have to shave his head then cut it even shorter with a razor.

“He wasn’t really on board with this idea, but he sportingly agreed to it to avoid further gentle ribbing on Facebook.

“Hours later, the £1,250 target was smashed and Lee was scratching his head thinking of ways he could get out of cutting his hair so short. He came up with a compromise.

“He said that if we could raise £2,000, then he would sport a haircut and handlebar moustache in the style of Tiger King’s Joe Exotic, and fancy dress for a whole week - even when he was at work.

“I agreed to the compromise as long as he agreed to extend our fundraising period by a week (to noon on Saturday, May 2) which he did, so we did the deal. Lee said he would do anything to avoid a close shave.

“What Lee didn’t realise when he agreed to the latest compromise is that we had been beavering away behind the scenes with more ideas to get more donations in.

“We had finalised the design of three different official #GeneralWatch mugs that we could sell online for £6 each.

“Less than a day later, the mugs went on sale and we sold 50 of them in under four hours, which added a further £300 to our fundraising total.

“We even had to set up an official #GeneralWatch Facebook fan page so that we could keep a track of how many we had sold.”

The idea to sell mugs came after a speculative comment by’s Mark Whitford in the official #GeneralWatch WhatsApp group chat.

Hall said: “Mark has just set up a new business that will be selling all this kind of merchandise. He kindly agreed to print and deliver the mugs for us for free, with all the proceeds going to the Manorlands Hospice fundraiser.

“Mark’s generosity has given our fundraiser a second wind and has lifted the spirits of our community even further.

“He has turned the first consignment of mugs round in less than 12 hours and we also had them posted out the same day.

“The recipients love their new mugs and have been posting pictures of themselves using them on Facebook.

“This fundraiser has gone beyond just being a normal fundraiser. The whole community has got behind it and the camaraderie amongst us all is second to none.

“Everybody has played their part and it is truly mind blowing to be part of it. I want to thank every single person who has donated.

“#GeneralWatch has just taken off and we’ve even had support from celebrities too, such as former footballer Neil Ruddock.

“Ruddock has sent Lee a video message offering his support which is unbelievable.

“I’ve had to post a cup out to people in Baildon, Pudsey and even Sydney. #GeneralWatch is literally a worldwide brand now. I think we could be onto something massive here.”

With Saturday’s deadline less than a week away, Hall has suggested that his fundraising team have more ideas that they are currently working on behind the scenes.

He added: “Mark (Whitford), James Taylor and James Gath at are working on some other prototypes for new #GeneralWatch merchandise that I believe will be better sellers than the cups, so watch this space.”’s Mark Whitford was only too happy to play his part in the fundraiser.

He said: “The Manorlands Hospice is a charity that is very close to our business headquarters, and not only that, it is an integral part of our local community and we simply cannot afford for it to close.

“They are currently at massive risk of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The hospice is fully funded by fundraising events and donations, but both of these have pretty much ground to a halt due to the financial uncertainty in the world at the moment.

“I feel very privileged to be able to play a small part in Dave’s fundraiser and we will be doing everything we can to smash that £2,000 target by noon on Saturday.”

With five days to go, the fundraiser has currently raised £1,782, so is just £218 short of the new target.

If you wish to purchase a mug or donate to this worthy cause, please visit: