STAFF from a Woking-based pub company have raised £6,000 for prostate cancer research in honour of a cricketing hero who was a regular customer.

People working at pubs including The Red Lion at Horsell volunteered to put on a special lockdown takeaway menu, with all profits donated to Prostate Cancer UK.

The intitiative was in honour of Bob Willis, the 1970s and 80s England legend who died of the cancer last year, aged 70. His wife Lauren Clark said Pearmain pubs were one of his favourite dining out destinations.

The fundraising, on Father’s Day, also took place at The Old Plough in Stoke D’Abernon – where Bob grew up – and the Three Horseshoes at Laleham.

Pearmain marketing and operational support manager Annie Porter, from Horsell, was one of leaders of the team who organised it.

“The whole team put their hands up when we asked for volunteers and everyone gave up their time for a great cause,” she said. “Choosing Prostate Cancer UK as the charity to raise money for seemed so natural, not only because of the relevance to men and Father’s Day, but also as a tribute to Bob who was a brilliant person, friend and incredible supporter of our pubs.

“We were so delighted at the response from customers. Everyone was so excited to see the pubs open, even though it was just for one day. We had so many lovely comments and people were very generous at supporting Prostate Cancer UK.

Lauren Clark added: “All the staff, including the chefs, volunteered on the day and there was an incredible take-up from customers, who were amazingly generous. I’m so pleased we have been able to pay tribute to Bob with Annie and the locals.”

The Prostate Cancer UK director of fundraising, Tracey Pritchard, said: “The continued support of so many wonderfully generous and supportive people like Annie has enabled us to protect research into better tests and treatments, to stop prostate cancer being a killer.”

Prostate cancer is now the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK. More than 47,500 men are diagnosed with the disease every year and 11,500 die from it.