IT was hair today and gone tomorrow as a big-hearted schoolboy had his shaved his head to raise money for a cancer charity.

Tom Birks, aged 12, braved the shave for Macmillan in memory of dad Dave, who died in May this year after a courageous battle with bowel cancer.

Dave was well known in the local community as a tennis coach for adults and children.

Tom said Macmillan helped to support his dad while he was ill and that is why he wants to raise as much money as he can for the charity.

At first he hoped to raise £500, but the youngster smashed his target before he had even shaved his head.

His next goal was to raise £800, but now he has broken the £1,000 barrier.

Tom, who goes to Honywood School in Coggeshall, said he has had a huge amount of support from his teachers and school friends.

He said: “My friends kept saying ‘Are you really doing it - are you sure?’ It was really funny.”

Rory O’Shea, who owns Ruari’s Hair Salon in Earls Colne, shaved Tom’s head at Earls Colne Recreational Club.

He said: “I felt extremely privileged to be part of such a meaningful and poignant event.

"Tom has faced a very difficult time with such courage.

“His desire to help others in the future who are facing similar circumstances is truly inspirational.”

Tom added: “The hairdresser who cut my hair put it into lots of tiny little ponytails and people could cut them off- then he did the rest.”

Tom, of Earls Colne, says although it is a bit colder now, he has a reindeer hat to keep his head warm over Christmas.

His grand total is now £1,080.

Mum Tracy said: “It was very emotional. I’m so proud of him and dead chuffed.

First he had his hair put into ponytails, then Rory did a grade four on him and Tom just kept telling him to go shorter.”