Fans from the Hebburn Black Cats supporters bus at the Longship Inn, Hebburn have been raising money for charity in a tribute to 12-year-old Sydney Clark who passed away from a brain tumour in 2017.
Sydney died at home in Hebburn with her family, including mum Jade, dad Craig, sister Mia, 17 and younger brothers Keiran, 11, Kayden, eight, and Charlie, five, just after Christmas on December 27, but the family have been too devastated to speak until now.
In October 2016, Sydney, who had just started her first year at Jarrow School, was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour, glioblastoma multiforme.
The brave youngster underwent two brain surgeries and rigorous radiotherapy, but by July 2017 her family were told the treatment was no longer working.
“We were all completely devastated,” said Sydney’s grandmother, Carol Morrison, who helps organise the supporters’ bus.
“She was amazing, such a courageous, brave little girl. It’s almost as if she was too good to be here, she was a proper little angel.”
After Sydney’s diagnosis, the Hebburn Black Cats - led by organiser Michelle Graham - raised funds for Sydney to enjoy a dream trip to Winter Wonderland in London, three days after she finished her treatment in December 2018.
Following her death, they have continued to hold raffles and charity nights, raising a total of £2,250 for Daft as a Brush, the charity which helped Sydney’s parents with her transport to hospital.
“The family used Daft as a Brush frequently, so when she passed away we wanted to raise money to support this good cause,” said Michelle.
“We’re only a little bus, and everyone is over the moon that we have raised this much.”
Carole continued: “It was important for us to keep Sydney’s memory alive and Daft as a Brush were absolutely brilliant helping her and her family, so this felt like a fitting tribute.”
She added: “Sydney would have loved all this attention.
“The people on the bus have been absolutely amazing. We will never forget the kindness that’s been shown in her memory.”