MICKEY MOUSE-loving David Leek was treated to a late birthday surprise when he received a magical gift from Disney.
David featured in the Mail earlier this month with his impressive collection of 350 Mickey Mouse soft toys.
Just two days later, David celebrated his 76th birthday but unfortunately spent the day in hospital to undergo a simple operation.
But upon his return home he was ecstatic to receive an extra-special delivery.
Disney had seen David’s quirky hobby in the Mail and sent him a birthday card, a soft toy and a signed Mickey Mouse picture.
“I must say I was quite choked when I received the delivery, it was such a lovely gesture,” admitted David, who owned Leeks DIY Store, in Billingham for 23 years.
“The card and the picture was absolutely brilliant and the Mickey soft-toy had DIY overalls on.
“That was just fantastic, DIY is what I have done for most of my life.”
The striking picture of Mickey Mouse in Disneyland is joined by a message which reads: “We heard you are a huge Mickey Mouse fan so wanted to send you this signed picture from Mickey himself.
“We hope it adds nicely to your collection.”
David, who moved to Hartlepool from Billingham last year, placed his new Mickey Mouse toy alongside the hundreds of others in his collection.
He added: “I think it’s lovely for Disney to recognise what I do.”
Since he last featured in the Mail, David has added even more to his collection.
At a car-boot sale last week he bought two soft toys and a Mickey Mouse telephone.
“It has become quite a passion of mine,” said David.
“It keeps me busy and maybe by this time next year I will have a room full of the toys.
“I won’t pay over the odds though, £5 is the most I’ve ever paid.”
A Disney spokesperson said: “When we heard about David’s Mickey Mouse collection, we were delighted that he was such a big fan and wanted to send him all the best birthday wishes from Disney.
“His collection is very impressive and shows that Mickey Mouse can certainly capture someone’s heart over and over and over again.
“We are very glad David liked his Mickey Mouse gifts from Disney and had a great birthday.”