Globe-trotting adventures

 A soft toy found abandoned in a muddy puddle has gone on to enjoy a millionaire jet setting lifestyle with the staff from a busy Boots store who adopted him.

Woolly Boots, a blue stuffed character from the Channel Four children’s programme The Hoobs, was found outside the back of the Boots store in Market Walk shopping centre, Chorley, on a cold January day. Soaking wet and unloved, he was brought into the warm and washed off.

Since that day in 2009, he has become a cherished member of the 21 strong Chorley Boots team and travelled all over the world with them, including exotic destinations such as Venice, New York, Australia and the Caribbean.

He has also attended family events and had VIP treatment at the annual Christmas party.

Kerry Lawson, who has been team manager at the store for two years, said: “He has become our much loved mascot I suppose and his escapades always raise a smile. He has been to a colleague’s wedding and I suppose he is just an important part of the Boots team in Market Walk.

“When he is not off gallivanting, he sits in a box up on the notice board in the staff canteen looking at everyone. He is surrounded by photos of his trips abroad and he must have been on most people’s holidays.

“He has just got back from Tenerife but that is probably his last trip before Christmas because I think everyone has been on holiday now.”

The lucky little stuffed creature has been all over the world, including Australia, Egypt, Miami, Barbados, Italy and France to name a few, and always travels first class in hand luggage to ensure his smooth journey and safe carriage. His accompanying adults always make sure he has plenty of holiday snaps to add to his collection.

He has even had outfits made for him by Judith Farnworth, a dispenser at the Market Walk store.

Judith of Coppull, Chorley, said: “I made him a tuxedo for our Christmas party and when he went to Australia, I made him some kharki shorts, a white vest and a little hat with corks hanging off it, just so he felt like he fitted in when he got there.”

Woolly Boots also has his own Facebook page where staff post pictures of his travels and details of his latest adventures.

He has survived remarkably unscathed despite almost being bitten by a squirrel while he was on an outing to Chester and recently being kidnapped and held to ransom to raise money for charity.

Kerry, 24, from Clitheroe, said: “We recently held a fundraiser for Macmillan and poor Woolly Boots was kidnapped by a rabbit. He is worth a lot to us and we all chipped in to donate £20 to Macmillan in return for his release which was orchestrated by Aslan the lion. We were all relieved to have him back.”

Patrick Duckett, Market Walk manager, said he had never met the globe trotting toy but his amazing tales couldn’t fail to bring a smile to your face.

He said: “Market Walk is a lovely place to come and shop and I think this is partly down to the friendly people who work here and their sense of humour.

“I am very amused to hear about Woolly Boots and perhaps I ought to offer to take him on holiday with me next time and increase the amazing amount of destinations he has been to.”

Caption: Staff member Lorraine Denver with the much-travelled Woolly

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