HOSPICE supporter John Whyche has been thanked for the hours he spends standing in the freezing cold, waiting to get signatures from famous visitors to the town and players at Blackburn Rovers.

John, 54, from Feniscowles, uses his hobby of collecting autographs to raise funds for the hospice.

John has raised thousands of pounds for the charity by asking for signatures on everything from promotional posters and footballs to shirts and plaques. He also has a relationship with King George’s Hall where performing musicians and comedians sign posters.

These are then auctioned or raffled at hospice events, community functions or pubs.

John said: “I would like to thank everyone who helps me to do this, including the players at Blackburn Rovers. The hospice is close to the hearts of many and nearly everyone knows someone who has been cared for there.

“The hospice really does make a huge difference.

“One of the most memorable meetings was with Geoff Hurst.

“He was at an event at Ewood and signed a picture of him scoring for England during the 1966 World Cup final. It eventually raised £1,000.”

Hospice fundraising manager Sharon Crymble said: “We are indebted to John for the hours he stands in the rain and bad weather in order to get the signatures on the plaques that he also provides and frames.

“He gives a great deal of his time to help us to raise funds."

If anyone would like to make an offer on one of the signed Blackburn Rovers items or would like to raffle one in their workplace, event or local pub, contact Sharon in the fundraising department on 01254 733410.