ROMSEY pub landlord Gary Maulls will be staging a big fund-raising farewell for the town's popular XLP Research charity on Saturday.

Gary and his partner Joanna will be hosting a special race day at the William IV pub with the activities starting at 2pm and running through to 11pm.

The afternoon will begin with a raffle and grand auction and the evening session with a series of screened horse races and the last is set to be a memorable pig race.

Any winnings taken by the bookies' will go straight to the XLP Research Trust which was established two years ago by David and Allison Hartley whose four sons were diagnosed in 2003 with the life-threatening genetic condition known as X-linked Lymphoproliferative Syndrome (XLP).

All four boys had to have bone marrow transplants, with three being successful and Luke, the youngest of the four, due for a second attempt shortly. But the family's aim is to fund research through the charity to find a permanent cure and save other families and sufferers the complications of transplants.

As he prepared for tomorrow's big fund-raising drive, Gary said: "My partner and I are moving on from the William IV and wanted to go out with a fun day that everyone would remember.

"We couldn't think of a better way of doing this than raising money for a worthwhile cause. The Hartley brothers are close to the hearts of the community and many of the local businesses have made generous donations towards the raffles and auctions.

"The time given by those involved in the day is voluntary and we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for making this what we hope will be a memorable day.

"We would also like to thank David and Allison for their support and we wish Luke all the best with his operation."

The Hartley family got into the spirit of the day with a visit to the riding stables at Robinsbrook Farm in Newbridge which was organised by Gary and Joanna's friend Georgina.

There, they spent some time with Pasti, Cally and Mabel and their owners Hanna, Lotti and yard owner, Claire.

David Hartley said: "This will be a fabulous day and we are really grateful to Gary and Joanna. It will be the last major piece of fund-raising we will be involved in for the XLP Research Trust before Luke goes in for his second bone marrow transplant in the middle of this month so we are looking forward to a great day."

New landlord and landlady Kevin and Gaynor will also be helping out on the day and are looking forward to meeting the regulars and the many friends and supporters of the charity who will attend during the day.