A FAMOUS dancing doll is once again to be auctioned off for North-East charities.

Sky Sports TV presenter Jeff Stelling donated his dancing James Brown doll to Hartlepool Borough Council so it could be auctioned for good causes in the town.

It was bought by Jon Whitfield, a Hartlepool businessman, for £1,000 after pranksters derailed an online auction.

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Now Mr Whitfield, a director of Hartlepool-based Euro Property Management, has handed it back to Hartlepool council chairman Stephen Akers-Belcher.

The doll became famous when Jeff Stelling, originally from Hartlepool, whipped the musical toy out from under his desk during his football results TV show every time the Hartlepool player of the same name found the net.

But with the footballing James Brown having left Hartlepool FC’s Victoria Park for Gateshead last summer, Jeff needed to find a new home for the doll.

Councillor Akers-Belcher is now going to run a raffle giving people the chance to win the doll as well as a £500 cash prize.

Mr Whitfield said: “We decided we would give the doll back to in the hope Stephen can raise even more cash.”

Coun Akers-Belcher said: “I am really grateful to Jon for stepping in and saving the day when we had a situation where the online auction was hijacked.”

Jeff Stelling was given the doll several years ago by a Hartlepool resident when he went along to the opening of the Rift House Community Centre, the area of town where he grew up.

People can buy a raffle ticket to win the doll for just £1, which also gets them in the Grand Draw for a prize of £500 cash.

The raffle for the doll will be drawn in late February/early March and the Grand Draw to win £500 will be held in April. To buy a ticket call (01429) 523704 or call in to Hartlepool Civic Centre.