Footballers raise almost £700 so that sick children can enjoy a family holiday

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An inspirational schoolboy proved a special mascot at a football match to raise money for the charity he founded.

Kian Armstrong, five, from Castletown, beamed with pride as he posed with Sunderland Westend FC and Easington Colliery FC.

Kian with Easington Colliery FC

Kian with Easington Colliery FC

The teams took to the pitch at Ford Quarry as part of the annual Peter David Lane Trust Fund charity match.

This year’s friendly game raised almost £700 for Kian’s Gift.

After Kian battled back from rare cancer neuroblastoma, he and his family set up the charity to provide a holiday home in Northumberland for poorly children.

Castletown Primary School pupil Kian cheered from the sidelines at the match, which will help to pay for the running costs of the caravan.

The money raised means more special families can spend quality precious time together, making memories that last forever.

Julie Reay

Charity champion Julie Reay, from Barnes, who has raised more than £150,000 for good causes in memory of her son Peter, chose to help Kian’s Gift after being touched by how many families it supports.

She said: “I again feel very proud and, of course, extremely grateful for the support given from both of these football clubs.

“I thank them from the bottom of my heart. We had a fantastic night, the support really blows me away.”

Gary Gettings, from Sunderland Westend, organised the event, while Total Sports donated a special strip to Kian, so he could walk onto the pitch in his favourite colours of red and white.

Kian with Julie Reay

Kian with Julie Reay

Julie added: “Kian had a great night and we all felt very proud when he led the teams out on the pitch. He was thrilled with his strip. The money raised means more special families can spend quality, precious time together, making memories that last forever.”

Earlier this year, Julie ensured the future of the charity by donating £26,000 to the cause.

l Families who have lost a child, or who have been affected by childhood illness, can ask to stay at the caravan by searching for Kian’s Gift on Facebook or emailing kians.gift@virginmedia.com

Kian in his special strip

Kian in his special strip