Artist auctions his services to raise money for brain tumour tot

Lyndsey Cornet with Lyle. Picture: Jon Savage
Lyndsey Cornet with Lyle. Picture: Jon Savage
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FOR months the Little Robot Guys were Musselburgh’s biggest mystery.

No-one knew who was painting the unusual creatures that were popping up on shops, lampposts and in a string of public places.

Toby Larner

Toby Larner

But last month, we revealed Toby Larner was the mastermind behind the artwork that locals said was “brightening” up their area.

Now, the 40-year-old freelance artist is using his skills to raise money for an important cause, and is taking part in an online auction in aid of little Lyle Cornet.

The one year-old, from Loanhead, Midlothian, was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour last year.

His parents Lyndsey, 24, and Tjay, 25, are now trying to raise enough money to adapt their home - so Lyle can be moved from his upstairs bedroom to a new room on the ground floor, that would better suit his needs. Toby is running an online auction until Sunday evening, which allows people to bid for him to produce a piece of art either in a residential home or in the community.

Whoever bids the largest amount of money will win - and £170 is the highest bid so far.

Toby said: “This is the least I could do to help.

“I was originally asked if I would donate a canvas, but I took it a step further and auctioned myself.

“People can bid for a custom canvas painted to their specifications, a painted feature wall for their house or a custom painted character for a shop front.

“However, the winner can also opt to donate me to a local gym, youth club or nursery and I will provide two days of my time to brighten up the place for them.”

He added: “Lyle’s family were really happy with the idea and it’s all about trying to help and raise community spirit.”

Lyle, who is the grandson of the late Scottish rugby star Bruce Hay, has to undergo chemotherapy at least once a week for the next 15 months.

His tumour is so large it affects his sight and he has poor vision in both eyes. He also has a hole in his heart.

His mum, Lyndsey, said: “It’s fantastic Toby is doing this for us, he is such a nice man.

“It’s great to see all the community coming together for Lyle, I can’t thank everyone that has organised fundraising activities for him enough. At the moment we are only living off of one wage so any help we receive we are so grateful for.”

We previously told how Lyndsey’s dad Bruce - who played for various Scottish clubs and the British Lions - died of a brain tumour aged 57 in 2007.

Both of Lyndsay’s children have suffered tumours. Her three year-old son Chris had a benign tumour removed in 2015 but Lyle’s will never be taken out.

Lyndsey said: “I was 15 when my dad died and I remember seeing what his tumour did to him. Now I am seeing the same with my boys. But dad stayed strong and brave to the end and I will do the same for my boys.”

To donate to Lyle’s GoFundMe page, visit: