A FOOTBALL coach of an under 15s team has so far raised more than £20,000 to help support the family of a young player who was sadly diagnosed with cancer recently.

Gavin Hanson, proud coach of Runcorn team, Heath Rangers Barca, set up a funding page for 14-year-old player Callum Lane after he received the devastating news that he had an aggressive form of leukaemia just six weeks ago.

Gavin said how after Callum had complained of feeling unwell and had found lumps appearing on his body, he went to the doctors which began the start of his cancer journey, and within two weeks he was receiving treatment.

But not only has the news of Callum’s diagnosis affected his family, it has also hugely affected the entire team of players who are like a family of their own.

Speaking of when Callum came to watch the boys play a county cup match only recently, Gavin said: “They were made up to see him. The lads said, ‘we just want to win something for him’.

“It was a really emotional game and by the end of the match I was picking lads up off the floor crying.

“The lads take his shirt to all the games.”

Chester and District Standard: Heath Rangers Barca Under 15s teamHeath Rangers Barca Under 15s team (Image: Supplied)

The father-of-three, one being his 14-year-old son Archie, said how the news has hit him hard and took an emotional toll on him and all the team.

“It could have been any one of them, my son plays for the team as well and it really brings it home,” he said.

“The first couple of weeks, it was just heart breaking. The team just want to win something in his name, and you can see physically it is affecting the lads.”

Callum has been diagnosed with T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma; a cancer common in young teens with men often being more affected than women.

He has received a few courses of chemotherapy treatment for the cancer so far.

Gavin is no stranger to fundraising, and he hopes the continuous fundraising will help to support Callum’s family, especially whilst the teen is receiving treatment.

“It is about giving them one less thing to think about,” he said. “They have been at his bedside and the treatment could last up to three years.”

“Runcorn has proved by getting behind this that there is still community spirit out there.”

The funding page has been shared on social media, but after famous boxer Paul Smith Junior caught wind of Callum’s moving story on twitter and shared the page it has ‘spread like wildfire’, with floods of donations being given to the page.

As part of the fundraising campaign, the coach organised a 10-mile mental health walk for his team of players which raised ‘thousands’.

During the walk, which took them from the football grounds at Runcorn Boys Club all the way to Frodsham Hill and back, the boys had the opportunity to open up and share their own feelings and emotions on dealing with the news of Callum’s diagnosis.

“Because they are all so close, they love him to bits. All of a sudden it became quite real to them when his treatment started,” Gavin said.

The team will also be shaving their heads in support of their teammate who has lost his hair since starting treatment.

Along with charity matches that have been put on by the team to continue the push to raise money for the family and Callum.


To donate to the page in support of Callum’s family visit the funding page link here: gofundme.com/f/kick-callums-cancer?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=unknown&utm_campaign=comms_pky6+kick-callums-cancer