Ice bucket challenge: Suited Sunderland City Council boss gets a soaking

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COUNCIL leader Paul Watson proved himself a good sport when he received a soaking in the global ice bucket challenge craze.

Dressed in a suit, he took part in the charity challenge to be drenched in icy water outside Sunderland’s council chamber after being nominated by Simon Grundy from Sun FM.

Paul quipped: “I owe Simon after my nomination, maybe I should push him in the river. A few people had threatened to nominate me. I’d escaped it until Simon put me forward, but he’s fearless.”

Instead of making a donation to an ALS charity which sparked the craze, Coun Watson made a donation to this year’s Mayor’s charities – NSPCC Childline, Age UK Sunderland and Sunderland Action on Dementia.

Coun Watson says he’s swerved on making any return nominations for the challenge.

“A few people have said I should nominate the deputy mayor, but I’m not that cruel,” he said. “I think this is a great way to raise funds but sometimes other charities get sidelined, which is why I chose to donate to the Mayor’s charities.”

Simon, who presents Sun FM’s breakfast show, said: “There was a number of other people I thought about nominating but I knew Coun Watson would do it, he’s that kind of chap, up for a laugh.”

The ALS ice bucket challenge has raised an unprecedented £48 million in less than a month in a flood of donations from more than 1.7million people.

Closer to home, SAFC owner Ellis Short took on the challenge and nominated NUFC counterpart Mike Ashley, who so far hasn’t accepted the nomination.

Anyone accepting the challenge is urged to share a video of the event and nominate someone else to do the same, making a donation to any charity supporting Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

ALS is the American name for the condition usually referred to as motor neurone disease (MND) in the UK, where the leading organisation is the Motor Neurone Disease Association.