Friends of an inspirational fundraising schoolboy who died of cancer donned onesies for a sponsored run around the Keepmoat Stadium on Saturday afternoon in memory of their pal.
Brave Liam Dunne, from Balby, raised thousands of pounds for children’s charities while undergoing extensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment.
A group of 32 youngsters zipped up their onesies for a jog around the pitch during half time at the Doncaster Rovers v Sheffield Wednesday game.
Their efforts are expected to have raised more than £1000 for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, where Liam spent some of his final days before his death aged 12 in May last year.
Liam’s Mum, Joanne Hobson, said: “Liam would have been amazed at the turn out today and that they are all still carrying on his charity work. He is up there smiling.”
She told how family and friends arranged the event as the club organised for Rovers’ player Rob Jones to visit Liam while he was undergoing treatment.
The Doncaster Rovers’ fan also loved onesies so they decided to combine the two.
She added: “Bluebell Wood arranged for Rob Jones to make a surprise visit to see Liam at home. Not only did Rob come to see Liam, but as Doncaster Rovers had just been crowned the champions of League One, he also brought the league trophy with him.
“Liam was so surprised and in awe of Rob, it brought a huge smile to his face and made him forget the pain that he was in, even if it was only for a short amount of time. We are so grateful to Bluebell Wood for arranging the visit and to Rob for taking the time out of his schedule to make the dreams of one boy come true.”
Liam, a pupil at Balby Carr Community Academy, was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a malignant form of cancer in March 2012.
During 15 months’ of extensive treatment, he managed to raise about £8000 through a range of fundraisers, including sponsored walks and a sponsored head shave.
During this time he also met Emmerdale star Emma Atkins and football pundit Chris Kamara during a trip to Lapland organised by the Make a Wish Foundation.
His auntie Michelle Hobson, 36, who runs the Staff of Life pub in Doncaster, said: “Liam was a real inspiration to us all. He was so brave while he was going through his cancer treatment. Even at such a young age, he wanted to raise money and awareness to help other young people who were ill.
“His friends wanted to pay tribute to him and this is also a way of keeping his memory alive.”
Friends and family are in the process of setting up a charity in his name called Liam’s Warriors.
In addition to the £8000 he raised, friends and family have collected further funds with the total now standing at about £15, 000.
The Liam’s Warriors charity will focus on fundraising for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, Parents and Children Together (PACT) and Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
Anna Gott, fundraiser at Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, said: “I’d like to thank Joanne her family and Liam’s friends for continuing to support Bluebell Wood.
“The courage Liam showed during his battle with cancer was incredible and he raised a significant amount for charity too. The Onesie day is an amazing way to honour his memory and I am sure the day will be a huge success, well done from everyone here at the hospice.”