Rugby trophy named after “real-life” Peter Pan

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A REAL life Peter Pan has had a memorial cup named in his honour.

Kieran Anderson became his hero, the little boy who never grew up, after losing his battle against cancer.

Darren Anderson holds the trophy for a memorial rugby match in memory of his brother Kieron with his under 15's team in the background at Ashbrooke Sports Club.

Darren Anderson holds the trophy for a memorial rugby match in memory of his brother Kieron with his under 15's team in the background at Ashbrooke Sports Club.

To mark the fifth anniversary of the Roker youngster’s death, a cup game has been established.

His big brother Darren, 15, a member of Sunderland Under 15s rugby team, played in the first memorial cup game against Gateshead at Ashbrooke Sports Ground at the weekend.

Kieran’s mum Victoria Kemp, 33, said: “We’ve been wanting to have something like this in memory of Kieran for a while and the fifth anniversary of his death seemed the perfect time to do it.

“We’ve had a cup engraved and we want to have the match as an annual event. It’s a lovely way to remember Kieran, he loved to watch the rugby, even when he was poorly he would go to matches in his wheelchair.”

The Dame Dorothy Primary School pupil died at his home in Horatio Street, Roker, in March 2007 surrounded by his family after a three-year battle with terminal cancer.

Just before his death, Kieran was excited to become a big brother to Stephanie, now five. Victoria, has also had two other children since then - Errin, four, and Jimmy, 18 months.

Though the three younger siblings did not know their brother, he is still a major part of the family.

Victoria, who is also mum to Natasha, 16, said: “Errin talks to her big brother all the time. She calls him Peter Pan. We have his pictures all over the house.”

Kieran was struck with neuroblastoma – cancer of the nervous system – in 2004 and his family were left devastated when doctors at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital told them the youngster’s condition was terminal.

But despite his illness, plucky Kieran lived life to the full and Victoria launched a fund-raising drive to help her youngest son achieve his last wishes of meeting Santa Claus, Peter Pan and Mickey Mouse.

Thanks to generous donations from friends and Echo readers Kieran was able to realise his dreams and in December 2005 he flew to Lapland to meet Santa.

The trip was soon followed by a holiday to Disneyland last year to meet Mickey and his hero Peter Pan and there was even enough money left over to take Kieran to Tenerife to swim with dolphins.

Twitter: @sunechokaty