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 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.
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.
"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."
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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.
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 deathFormer Sunderland player Jordan Henderson, who is now with Liverpool and appears for England, is among those to have supported the online donation page.
More details about the GoFundMe page set up for Connor's family can be found by clicking here.