Tributes pour in for “brave” and “popular” Milan Patel

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Tributes have flooded in for brave and inspirational teenager Milan Patel who lost his fight with cancer on Monday.

The 14-year-old was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma - a rare form of bone cancer in 2012, and despite fighting off the illness twice, his family last year faced the news that the illness returned for a third time.

The football fan- who would have turned 15 this month - was a popular member of Kenilworth Wardens club and his determination to beat the illness inspired a fundraising campaign to support the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Since his death, hundreds of messages of support for the teenager and his family have flooded in to social media sites and around Kenilworth.

Donations to the charity have also reached £2,540 as friends, family, or those who were touched by his story turn out to send messages of support to his family and support the campaign in his memory.

Bravely stating “I fought it once, I’ll do it again” at the return of his illness, the Kenilworth School pupil inspired a charity wristband campaign which carried the words “Support Milan’s Third Battle” and quickly spread on social media and through the town.

The message was shared online over 6,000 times, gaining support from footballers and sports clubs across the UK - even picking up the attention of England player, Wayne Rooney who invited Milan, his older brother Kiran, and their parents to meet the players.

Rooney shared a picture of himself with a wristband and the words “Inspired by young footballer Milan Patel battling cancer. Keep fighting mate!”

The message was repeated thousands of times across the world as thousands came to support the schoolboys’ fight.

On Monday, the footballer wrote on Twitter: “Gutted to hear the news about Milan Patel. An inspiration to us all. Rest in peace mate.”

And as well as gaining support from sports stars around the world, Milan’s battle against the illness was supported by hundreds of friends back at home.

In 2013, 20 of Milan’s friends shaved their heads in solidarity with him and organised a surprise party to raise cash for bone cancer research and give him a night to remember.

The heart-warming show of solidarity extended throughout Kenilworth School and the Wardens, where fundraising was held for the Teenage Cancer Trust in his honour.

His mother Gita said they were overwhelmed by the kindness of his friends who she could not thank enough.

Paul Calver, Milan’s coach at the Wardens, received hundreds of messages of support for the Patel family and said their thoughts were with the family.