THOUSANDS of pounds have been raised to help children overseas.

Ian Gibbons, Radio Deeside presenter, hosted a charity football match and auction over the weekend in a bid to raise money for the nurses who are going to India to support children born with Cleft Palate.

He said for the past three years, nurses, surgeons, anaesthetists and practitioners have been travelling to India to carry out the life-changing surgery, and this year, Maria Ann Rees Jones from the Countess of Chester, was raising money so she could go.

Ian, who is a retired NHS worker, said he was asked by his ex colleague, Maria, to get involved in raising funds.

He told the Leader: "It was absolutely fantastic, a large number of staff at the countess turned up to play and take part and it was extremely good.

"It's an annual event because unfortunately there's nowhere for children to have this operation done. They would have to live with this horrible condition and for a little girl, it's a tragedy. When the operation is done, it's nowhere near as disfiguring as it could be.

"Maria raised £3,000 alone from her head shave on JustGiving. She had long, flowing blonde hair. Her beautiful long hair hasn't gone to waste, it will be donated to the Little Princess Trust.

"I also hosted an auction and raffle and we raised £1,000 from that and at the end someone dared me to cut off my moustache. I've never been without a moustache since I was 18 and foolishly I said if someone gives £100 then I'll do it - I should have asked for more."

The charity event, held on Saturday, January 5, saw dozens of staff members from the Countess of Chester attend Goals, in Chester, come together to support the cause, which aims to operate on children with the condition.

The Anaesthetists and the ODP's went head to head for the match before Maria shaved off her hair.