A TRANSSEXUAL whose photo was sent around the world in a flurry of e-mails is celebrating after achieving what she first set out to do.

Lucy Smith became the nation’s talking point earlier this month when a photo of her in the Guardian was picked up by football fan sites where it was said she was a lookalike of Chelsea defender John Terry.

“I’m not going to lie – it was hurtful, some of the things said about me,” said Lucy, aged 23.

“But it was a serious campaign and all it did was make me more determined to get it done.”

Lucy came to the Warrington Guardian to highlight her drive to get a series of NHS posters depicting a man in make-up removed from buses.

She has now had a letter from Andrew Burgess, the chief executive of NHS Warrington, informing her that the posters have been taken down as the campaign is over.

“It was not our intention to draw attention to those who are in mid-gender transition,” his letter said. The campaign was brought because of Warrington’s low ranking for alcohol-related hospital admissions.

It aimed to prompt women to drink less after research showed adverse cosmetic effects were big factors in cutting down on alcohol.

NHS Warrington also consulted with the National Transvestite Support Group.

“The support I’ve had has been unbelievable,” said Lucy, who added that some bus drivers were refusing to drive buses with the poster on and were stopping her to offer their backing.

She thinks the level of support was boosted by the John Terry link, as millions of people as far afield as Thailand and Australia saw her story.

Lucy, who received no payment for any of the media coverage, had chosen to wear the wig that attracted so much attention as her hair was short, and decided to remove it when she had to attend a family relative’s funeral the same day the national papers printed the story.

She is now ready to look to the future: “My face was splashed all over the world so I thought I may as well just keep it the way it is and be happy with my hair length as it is now.”

A spokesman for NHS Warrington said: “As an organisation, we very much regret that the campaign caused personal distress to a number of individuals as this was never the intention.

“As with any hard-hitting campaign with the aim of raising awareness, this particular alcohol campaign is now coming to a logical end, and has overall been very successful.

“Warrington has one of the highest rates of alcohol-related admissions in the country and this fact is naturally a cause for concern for the PCT, as excessive alcohol consumption impacts severely upon the health of individuals and the resources of the PCT, which means that there is less money available to provide services to other Warrington residents who also need care.”

Warrington is 349th out of 354 local authorities in terms of alcohol-related hospital admissions.