'Super' Josh gets key to Falmouth
11:00am Wednesday 6th March 2013 in News
The young lad who was the inspiration behind Falmouth police officers’ very own Gangnam Style video, which went viral attracting viewers from around the world, was “treated like royalty” when he visited the town last week.
Joshua Wilson, from Bury in Lancashire, was given a ceremonial key to Falmouth by mayor, Geoffrey Evans, and a copy of the proclamation read by town crier, Lee Mitchell, at the Maritime Museum on Thursday.
The 12-year-old and his mum, Dawn Fidler, were in Falmouth to personally thank the police team who have raised more than £13,000 towards special equipment and adaptations needed at their home.
Joshua was first diagnosed with a brain tumour when just three and following complex surgery he was left with severe neuromuscular disabilities which mean he needs round-the-clock care.
An appeal on Twitter for a policeman’s helmet attracted the attention of Sergeant Gary Watts who roped colleagues into helping out in an unusual way. Their tongue-in-cheek version of Korean rapper Psy’s video was an immediate hit and raised thousands of pounds in just days. You can see the video at thepacket.co.uk After flying into Newquay Airport last week, Josh and his entourage were brought to Falmouth where they stayed at the St Michael’s Hotel for a couple of nights, free of charge. Other local organisations and businesses were keen to offer their support with Fal Care providing free, specialist transport and The Shed, lunch on Thursday. They were given a VIP tour of the Maritime Museum and also of Falmouth Lifeboat Station.
Their reception was overwhelming for mother and son. “It has been unbelievable, I cannot put words to it,” said Dawn. “We have been treated like royalty. The best thing is that we have been able to get Josh here, have managed to physically come down and say ‘thank you’ to everyone. We have had an amazing experience.”
Sgt Watts was left in awe after meeting Dawn and Josh, realising for the first time how difficult his life is. “It has been brilliant, but it has also been an eye-opener for me,” he said. “Everyone keeps saying that we have done this amazing thing, but we have not. What we did was fairly simple. We turned up with very little planning, made fools or ourselves for four hours on video and it took off from there.
“People are not giving money because of us, but because they became aware of Josh through the video. It is that special story behind it that drove me to do it.”
Following the success of the Gangnam video, Sgt Watts and his team are planning their next big fundraiser. Falmouth Business Improvement District manager, Richard Wilcox, is planning a series of events in aid of Kidney Research, including an abseil off the Maritime Museum which Sgt Watts and his team have already signed up to.