With Remembrance Sunday just under two weeks away, a Rochdale man has made what he regards as the ultimate sacrifice in honour of our troops – by having his head turned into a giant POPPY. 

Darren Fudd, 42, paid over £25,000 for the transformation, which took surgeons more than eighty hours to complete. Most of his face and skull have been replaced with realistic-looking vinyl petals, stamens and stigma, and he is hoping to have a single leaf grafted onto his neck later this week.

“Darren has always been a massive patriot, so he’s delighted with how it’s turned out,” said Fudd’s wife Sharon, 38.

“The surgery means he won’t be able to eat solid food again, or watch his kids growing up, but it’ll be worth it when he can start telling people that his Facebook profile picture keeps being taken down for offending Muslims.”

Sharon told the Herald that they raised money for the operation by setting up a crowdfunding page in honour of their neighbour Ken Simpson, 97, a World War II veteran.

“We told people that we were saving up to buy Ken a state-of-the-art electric wheelchair, as his mobility’s been pretty bad since his accident last year, but I think that this will cheer him up even more.

“We even had enough left over to pay for our summer holiday and Darren sent him a postcard telling him how much we respected what he did for us during the war.

“He couldn’t read it because he’s still saving up to have his cataracts fixed, but it’s the thought that counts.”

Over the past few years, Darren Fudd’s dedication to the annual poppy appeal has gained notoriety in his local neighbourhood, after a series of increasingly ostentatious displays of ‘patriotism’.

“Darren definitely takes the whole poppy thing seriously, though it does get a bit out of hand at times,” said neighbour Phil Thomas, 36.

“A couple of years ago he went around shouting ‘traitor’ at anyone who wasn’t wearing a poppy and threatened to report them to the police. It would have been fine if he’d stuck to adults but he ended up outside the local nursery school calling all of the kids ‘jihadi-appeasing liberal snowflakes’, which upset my little Courtney no end.

“Then there was the time that he covered his entire car in those big plastic poppies you get on eBay, windscreen and all. It was quite an impressive sight until he ploughed into old Ken from next door and broke both of his hips.”

Fudd’s surgeon, Mr. Rajesh Mody, told the Herald that although the surgeon had been a success aesthetically, it was likely to have a significant impact on the quality, and length, of his life.

“The average poppy only flowers for about four weeks, which is how long he’s likely to last if we don’t figure out how to get sufficient nutrients into his body,” said Mody.

“That’s a tragedy for his family, obviously, though on the upside it means that nobody will have to listen to the ‘Christmas is a Christian festival’ bullshit he’ll inevitably start spouting in December.”