A Fife youngster has proved he’s a cut above the rest in his efforts to honour his injured soldier dad.
Jay Horner from Coaltown of Wemyss celebrated his 10th birthday by having his head shaved to raise money for the forces charity Help for Heroes, which supports wounded and sick veterans.
Jay’s close shave is a tribute to his father, Jonathan ‘Jack’ Horner, a Colour Sergeant in 3 Rifles, who was injured during a training exercise in Kenya.
Jack was helped by the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre at Headley Court but in May 2019, he injured his back again.
An MRI scan showed the 40-year-old had Cauda Equina Syndrome – the lower part of his spinal cord was trapped – and emergency surgery was needed to prevent paralysis.
When Jack came to after the operation he was cold so his wife, Susan, 38, put his Help for Heroes hoodie over him to keep him warm.
Seeing a photo of his dad in the hospital bed inspired Jay to do his bit for the charity and his father.
When Jay told his parents about his head shave plans they were stunned.
“His hair is his life,” said Susan.
“He spends ages every morning in the mirror styling it so it was a total shock when he came to us with his idea and at first we laughed it off but he was adamant.
“He even refused to get his hair cut before going back to school a couple of weeks ago to make sure he had plenty to cut off.”
Having written to Help For Heroes to tell them of his plans and setting a target of £60, the youngster eventually raised more than £500 to help the charity.
Proud dad Jack said he had been amazed by his son’s hair raising efforts.
“I couldn’t be more proud of Jay and what he’s done. This came totally out of the blue.
“When it was clear that he was serious we told him he’d have to write to Help for Heroes to get permission to raise the money and he wrote a letter straightaway. He’s amazing.”
David Martin, head of Supporter Fundraising at Help for Heroes, said: “While most nine-year-olds would be looking forward to presents or jelly and ice cream, Jay thought about others – his dad, and the wounded and sick veterans we support. What a remarkable boy he is.”