HE became a local folk hero after painting a Hampshire post box gold in honour of sailing sensation Sir Ben Ainslie’s Olympic victory at London 2012.

Now businessman Rob Smith has given the pillar box another eye-catching makeover following Sir Ben's historic triumph in the America's Cup.

Rob celebrated by draping the Stars and Stripes over a post box in Lymington High Street and plonking a party hat on the top.

A picture of the Statue of Liberty has been taped to the side of the box to complete the transatlantic tribute, which is near Sir Ben's home.

Rob, owner of The Haven bar in Lymington said: “We watched the final of the America's Cup on television and the place was electric.

“I felt Sir Ben's achievement deserved a mark of respect, so I nipped down to the local party shop.”

As revealed by the Daily Echo, the Olympic athlete will become the first person to receive the Freedom of Lymington after winning four gold medals and a silver over the past 17 years.

His triumph in last year's Games made him the most successful sailor in Olympic history.

When Post Office bosses refused to paint a Lymington post box gold in honour of Sir Ben's achievement Rob did the job himself - and was promptly arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage.

But the Royal Mail changed its mind after bowing to public pressure and the police decided to take no further action.