A CRICKET-MAD youngster from Taunton has raised more than £11,000 for Musgrove Park Hospital's maternity unit after completing a remarkable challenge in the summer.

Fin Bendle, 11, batted for 100 consecutive overs on August 31 in a fundraising effort in memory of his brother, Alfie, who was stillborn at 37 weeks in April 2018.

The challenge took place at Wombat CC, Bishops Lydeard, and Fin was joined by friends, family and some special guests, with Somerset and England star Jack Leach on hand to bowl a few overs.

He was also supported by video messages of support from legends across the world of cricket including Sir Ian Botham, Jos Buttler, Joe Root, Nasser Hussain, Charlotte Edwards and Andrew Strauss.

The money raised on the day was added to by an auction, including an England shirt signed by Leach, taking the final total to more than 11 times what the youngster originally planned to raise.

On Friday, Fin and his family visited the maternity unit at Musgrove to hand over the cheque and have a tour of the facility to see the difference his effort will make.

Fin said: "The day was really good and I really enjoyed it.

"The messages were amazing. I didn't expect it at all and I was really excited by the Joe Root one.

"I was tired at the end but the whole day was really good fun.

"It is really nice to come here and see what it will be going towards."

Head of midwifery at Musgrove Park Hospital, Sallyann King, said: "It is going to make a huge difference.

"A maternity rebuild isn't on the cards for another five or six years so making every little change that we can here and now is vital to making the journey better for mums, babies and families.

"What Fin has done, starting with an aim of £1,000 and raising £11,000 - we just couldn't believe it, really.

"It will be really nice as we would like some more modern cots and we can put plaques on those, so we will have a permanent memory of what Fin has done for us.

"A lot of the cots we have here now have probably been here as long as I have, which is quite a long time!

"Some of the cots will be over 30 years old, so this is just fantastic and helps us deliver a different quality of care for the services we need to deliver.

"It is lovely when children take the time to go out and do something for the benefit of their siblings. This is absolutely fabulous."

Fin's dad, Jon Bendle, said: “We just want to thank everyone who has supported Fin in some way with his challenge. The support he’s received has been unbelievable.

"It’s great to be able to help Musgrove in this way after the support and care they provided us.”