A TATTOOIST endured a gruelling 25-hour 'inking' marathon to raise money for a football team that helps people with mental health problems.

Starting at 9.30am and finishing at around 10.30am the next day, James Monnery gave tattoos non-stop to 30 people.

The tattoo artist, who works at Tattoo Heaven in New Chapel Street, Blackburn, did the challenge to help Blokes United.

‘Blokes United’ have been training at Witton Park Academy in Blackburn since February last year and helps those recovering from mental health and addiction problems.

Mr Monnery, who co-owns Tattoo Heaven with Peter Brennan, said: “The studio has always done a huge amount of charity work for local charities.

“I was inspired to do this challenge by a few clients who volunteer for Blokes United, who come into the tattoo studio and talk about the great work they’ve done for no money.

“It’s such an important cause that can save someone’s life as it gets these men out of the house and talking to people.”

Along with the tattoo marathon, Mr Monnery was involved with his co-owner Mr Brennan in an event that saw more than 250 people inked with a semicolon tattoo in Blackburn to raise awareness of suicide last week.

Over the two events, the tattoo studio has raised £1,755.

Mr Monnery added: “It was an enjoyable challenge and I’d like to give a big shout out to our clients who helped make it work.”

Blokes United is spin-off from the Social Inclusion Football League (SIFL), run by Blackburn-based social inclusion service Creative Support, at the Blackburn Rovers Indoor Centre (BRIC).

And the team are playing in their first season in the league, which sees teams travelling from Wigan, Preston, Bolton and Derby, to play twice a month at BRIC, with the help of Blackburn Rovers Community Trust.

Paul Davies, one of the founders of Blokes United, said: “We cannot thank you enough James. This money will be used to secure Blokes United for 12 months. Helping so many people and changing lives.”