THE CIRCUS community has sent in the clown in support of a legendary showman from Petersfield who was robbed in broad daylight.

Nigel Male jumped into action higher than a trapeze artist when he learned that David Weeks had been robbed.

The life-long circus friend launched an online appeal to replace the pension money Mr Weeks lost on Chapel Street on Monday, January 29.

The circus and showman community gave generously, with the lost sum being exceeded within a couple of hours.

The money was handed over today (Friday, February 9) by a very special visitor, with Mattie The Clown paying “Mr Petersfield” a visit.

The recipient’s smile was as wide as the big ring with the pair reminiscing on their time in the industry, and the role Mr Weeks paid in getting Mattie’s very big feet into the door.

“I’ve known David since I was 17 when my mother worked in Fine Fare, I wanted to get into the circus but it was a difficult industry to get into,” said Mattie, who now lives in Kent.

“I had to come and see David because he helped me get into the industry. I owe him a lot.”

Mr Male said no-one should go through what happened to David on Chapel Street, but is pleased the story has a happy ending.

“We know David from the world of circus and have done for many, many years,” said Mr Male, a “Josser” who has written books about the industry and its characters.

“After I heard about this I thought ‘let’s get his money back’. My Facebook page is full of everyone and anyone within the world of circus and within a few hours we had the money back and it continued to grow. The rest is history.”

David thanked his visitors and the community for the gesture, saying everyone has been so “marvellous, helpful and genuine”.

He said: “I’ve got a lot of contacts in the circus and I got a lot of enjoyment out of it.

“I would like to thank everyone for the support they’ve given me. I can’t thank everyone enough.”