A PORTRAIT of rugby star Leigh Halfpenny drawn as part of a 24-hour charity sketchathon was auctioned for £1,000 at a Celebration of Wales Gala Dinner at Newport’s Celtic Manor to an anonymous bidder.

Mark Everson, 42, from Cwmbran, spent 24 hours straight sketching the picture of the player, raising £2,500.

He spent a further 18 hours perfecting it before getting it signed by the player, and then auctioning it off at the St David’s Day event to raise a further £1,000 for ‘Raise Your Hands For Luca’, in aid of the campaign to help Newport boy Luca Williams walk again.

“It was great to meet Leigh when he signed the portrait,” said Mr Everson. “He seemed genuinely taken aback with it and impressed with the quality. He was a really nice guy, and he has a particularly impressive signature.”

“I was absolutely over the moon with the auction,” added Mr Everson.