Fundraiser’s a drag for Stevenage man after ebay dress joke

Jamie Deakin dressed up in full drag after raising more than £500 for charity

Jamie Deakin dressed up in full drag after raising more than £500 for charity - Credit: Archant

A SATURDAY night out was such a drag for a father-of-four – but it was all for a good cause.

Jamie Deakin replicating a picture posted on ebay

Jamie Deakin replicating a picture posted on ebay - Credit: Archant

Jamie Deakin had promised to turn up at the Royal Oak pub in Stevenage wearing a dress, high heels, make-up and a wig if his attempt to raise cash for Great Ormond Street Hospital reached £500.

He had initially posted a revealing picture of himself on social network site Facebook as a joke, parodying a woman who accidentally advertised a dress on auction website ebay which showed her half naked in a mirror reflection.

Jamie’s wife Claire put his own version – showing her husband posing behind her leopard print dress – on ebay and, after attracting a number of bids, the 32-year-old said he would dress up in full drag if £500 could be raised.

The £205 winning ebay bid for the dress turned out to be false after an account was hacked, but Stuart Haber, chief executive of Fuel Drain in Caxton Way, Stevenage, donated the money after reading about it on Facebook.

Family and friends of the Deakins clubbed together to raise the rest of the funds to ensure Jamie had to keep his word last weekend.

“I now know why women take so long getting ready,” said Jamie, who lives with Claire and his four children, Leigha, 10, Megan, eight, Lewis, seven, and Alfie, two, in Ellis Avenue, Stevenage.

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“It takes ages and I don’t know how they can do it on their own. I had the kids painting my nails and Claire doing my make-up. Walking in heels is an art of its own.

“I turned up down the pub to a few cheers from friends and family and a few laughs.

“As the night went on more and more people showed up, although some people I didn’t know gave me a few strange looks and a wide berth. They didn’t have a clue what was happening but after finding out also donated some money in the charity pot.”

Jamie, who works as a lorry driver, has so far raised £650 in total for Great Ormond Street Hospital, chosen as two relatives have been helped by the children’s hospital.

He added: “I think it’s an amazing amount for what only started as a joke with me posting a picture on my Facebook page.”