Humberside

Funeral for 'true hero' Jack Marshall

Serena Williams with Jack Marshall and his brother, Josh
Image caption Serena Williams invited Jack Marshall, and his brother Josh, to watch her at Wimbledon

The funeral has taken place of a six-year-old Scunthorpe boy who was befriended by top sports stars as he fought a rare form of brain cancer.

Football fan Jack Marshall met some of his sporting idols after setting up a Twitter page following the diagnosis of his illness in 2009.

He recently visited the Manchester United squad at their training ground.

On hearing the news of his death on 13 October, United striker Wayne Rooney said the little boy was a "true hero".

Earlier this year Jack visited the Wimbledon tennis tournament as a guest of defending champion Serena Williams, who had befriended him on Twitter.

Hundreds of people posted their condolences on Jack's web page after his death was announced by his mother Tracey.

Her message read: "We are all devastated, but take comfort in the fact that Jack lived life to the full right up to the very end.

"We are so very proud of Jack and the way he dealt with his disease, with a smile and a glint in his eye."

Manchester United and England striker Rooney, posting on Jack's web page, said: "So sorry for the loss of little Jack.

"He really touched me and my deepest sympathy is with u all. RIP Jack. A true hero."

His funeral at Scunthorpe Crematorium was football-themed, with the family requesting that mourners wear team shirts.

The family has set up a charity in his memory to raise fund for brain tumour research.

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