Pub regulars raise money in friends' memories

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DRINKERS at a Newport pub are growing their hair and beards and taking part in a darts marathon to raise cash for a hospice charity.

Some 20 customers at the Man of Steel pub in Pontfaen Road are taking part in the challenges in memory of 48-year-old Robert Sims who died of cancer in January and five-year-old spina bifida sufferer Leanne Hultberg who died several years ago.

Mr Sims was a regular at the pub and Leanne was the daughter of another drinker.

Ten men have been growing their hair and beards since Christmas Day and ten women are due to take part in a 12-hour darts marathon on Saturday.

The pub is hoping to raise around £5,000 for Newport-based hospice care service the St David's Foundation.

"The men are looking terrible and are looking forward to having a shave on March 3," said landlady Alison McLoughlin, who is organising the events.

"A woman has also volunteered to have her head shaved. I will be dressing up as a headmistress for the marathon on Saturday and the other women are dressing up as school children.

"It will be a fun way of raising cash for charity and chance to remember a loyal friend and young girl."

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