A FORMER soldier has raised hundreds of pounds after having a tattoo etched onto his thigh.

Andrew Robinson, 36, of The Park, Mistley, chose the Help the Heroes emblem as a tattoo to show his support for all soldiers fighting abroad.

Customers who entered Red’s Tattoo Parlour in Manningtree on Saturday stopped to watch as Mr Robinson had the work done.

“He was pretty brave and didn’t squirm,” said Sonya Trusty who tattoed the emblem free of charge. “It’s not his first one though, he has about 30 percent of his body covered in them.”

The tattoo, a black silhouette of two men carrying a soldier on a stretcher, took an hour and a half to complete and measured nine to 10 inches across Mr Robinson’s thigh.

He raised a total of £537.80 for Help the Heroes.

“I’m used to the pain by now,” said Mr Robinson who has tattoos on his back, lower legs and chest. “Everyone who I show is really impressed by it.”

Mr Robinson was an infantry soldier in the 1st Battalion The King’s Own Royal Border Regiment for seven years, serving in Canada and Northern Ireland.

“People are doing all sorts to raise money like parachute jumps and things like that so I thought getting a tattoo would be a little different,” he said.