Connor Brown murder: Sunderland fans donate to Stadium of Light collection in support of family

Sunderland fans showed their love for Connor Brown and his family as they dug deep one week on from his tragic death.

The GoFundMe page set up in his memory now stands at more than £24,000, with friends of his family gathering on the routes into the Stadium of Light ahead of today's match against Plymouth Argyle.

Fans also answered the call to stage a minute's applause to honour the 18-year-old GP practice receptionist and former Farringdon Academy student.

Connor Brown murder: Stadium of Light packed with applause as Sunderland fans remember teenager on 18th minute

Connor died in hospital a short time after being taken in with stab wounds following an attack in a back lane near to The Borough pub in the early hours of last Sunday.

Scores of tributes have been left at a spot close to the scene, as well as inside the Dolphin pub, where Connor was a regular.

There has been an outpouring of love for Connor Brown, 18, since his sudden death.

There has been an outpouring of love for Connor Brown, 18, since his sudden death.

Read more: Connor Brown murder: Friends create shrine to attack victim at Sunderland pub where teenager drank

Outside the ground football fans added donations to the the fund, run by a team of volunteers called Connor's Crew, with buckets donated for the event by city charity Veterans in Crisis and blue heart-shaped balloons donated by Park Lane Cards.

Brad Lilley, 21, from Farringdon, was among those to donate.

The fitness motivator, who works at the Raich Carter leisure centre, said: "I didn't know the lad, but we went to the same school.

Collectors were out in force outside the Stadium of Light before today's game.

Collectors were out in force outside the Stadium of Light before today's game.

"Obviously, it's a terrible tragedy what's happened, and we need to support the family when they are going through a difficult time.

"It's not something that happens around here and the whole community is affected.

"It's times like these that people come together this, for things like this and the balloon release."

Last night, there was a huge turn out of people at North Moor Lane, as two balloon releases were held in Connor's name.

Connor's Crew collectors held blue heart-shaped balloons decorated with his name as they raised funds.

Connor's Crew collectors held blue heart-shaped balloons decorated with his name as they raised funds.

Marc Leslie, 47, from Edinburgh was down for the match with son Thomas, 14.

He said: "I heard about what happened on Radio Newcastle because I listen to the Sunderland phone in, being exiled up the road.

"It's an absolute tragedy, the loss of someone so young is dreadful.

"I heard about the collection and wanted to make a wee contribution to it as well. It's a fantastic thing to do.

"It must be awful for his family and my son is a teenager, which brings it home. My thoughts go to his family."

Two men have been charged with Connor's murder.

Buckets were decorated with a photo of Connor Brown and his friends as supported collected funds outside the Stadium of Light to donate to his family.

Buckets were decorated with a photo of Connor Brown and his friends as supported collected funds outside the Stadium of Light to donate to his family.

Leighton Barrass, 20, of Hartside Square, and Ally Gordon, 19, of Polmuir Road, both Sunderland, face the allegation, while Gordon also faces a separate charge of possession of a bladed article.

Related: Connor Brown murder: Trial date set for pair accused of Sunderland teenager's death

Former Sunderland player Jordan Henderson, who is now with Liverpool and appears for England, is among those to have supported the online donation page.

Connor Brown murder: Fund boosted by Liverpool and England star Jordan Henderson reaches £18,000-mark

More details about the GoFundMe page set up for Connor's family can be found by clicking here.

Police on the scene as inquiries got under way into Connor Brown's death.

Police on the scene as inquiries got under way into Connor Brown's death.

Tributes were left near to the scene in the aftermath of the tragedy, with many more added since last weekend.

Tributes were left near to the scene in the aftermath of the tragedy, with many more added since last weekend.