Smile that says: I’m OK

Richard Lister and best friend Ben Andrewan with matching shaved heads
Richard Lister and best friend Ben Andrewan with matching shaved heads

awake, smiling and with matching haircuts – this is mugging victim Richard Lister with his best friend.

Ben Andrewan has been at Richard’s bedside, along with the 18-year-old’s family, ever since he was attacked in Skircoat Green Road in Halifax.

He promised Richard he would let him shave his head when he woke up.

Ben had helped to shave the rest of Richard’s head while he was unconscious after half his hair was taken off so he could undergo an operation for serious head injuries.

Now that Richard – Rick to his friends – is awake, his friend has fulfilled his pledge.

“Richard didn’t stop laughing the whole way through,” said his mum Debbie Critchell.

“Ben wanted to cheer Richard up and show his support for him.”

Richard’s dad and his sister’s boyfriend have also shaved their heads in support of the teenager,

Ben hopes his hair loss will encourage people to donate money to the neuro-intensive care unit at Leeds General Infirmary, where Richard was treated.

Anyone who would like to donate can send cheques payable to Neuro ICU to Leeds General Infirmary, Great George Street, Leeds, LS1 3EX.

Richard was left critically ill by the mugging as he went out to celebrate his A-Level results with pals.

But less than four weeks later, he is awake, talking and breathing and eating on his own.

His family say they do not know when he will be out of hospital but they are seeing improvements every day and he is coming on “leaps and bounds”.

They say they have been overwhelmed by messages of support that have flooded in since news of Richard’s ordeal spread.

His friends are putting together a book of “get well” messages for him and Facebook site has been created in his honour.

The Watermill pub, where Richard works, is holding a collection which they hope to use to replace Richard’s phone which was stolen during the mugging.

*Four men and a woman have been charged with the robbery.