David Beckham has paid tribute to "beautiful and brave" Lloyd Burton, who has passed away at the age of 11. The retired footballer met the young cancer sufferer as part of the Stand Up To Cancer campaign in October.
Writing on Facebook, David expressed his sadness at hearing the news that Lloyd lost his battle with a brain tumour on Wednesday.
"I’m sad to hear of the passing of Lloyd, a beautiful and brave boy who I was lucky to meet for the Stand Up for Cancer show. My thoughts are with his family and friends at this time," David wrote.
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David Beckham said he was sad to hear of Lloyd Burton's death
"He was an incredibly special boy, his positivity and strength in the face of such a terrible disease was an example to us all. He will be missed."
Avid Manchester United fan Lloyd and David bonded over their shared passion – football – during a surprise meeting in October. During their chat, which was aired on the Channel 4 Stand Up To Cancer TV show, David also quizzed Lloyd about any girlfriends he had at school, and revealed some lessons about boys that he had been teaching his daughter Harper Beckham.
Lloyd was diagnosed with a brain tumour (medulloblastoma) in May 2013. The 11-year-old underwent rigorous treatment for his cancer including surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Speaking after meeting his idol, Lloyd said he would "never forget" that day.
"I had no idea that I was going to meet David Beckham, it was such a brilliant surprise! He was really nice and we chatted lots. He told me a bit about his family and other normal stuff and we talked about football quite a lot too. I love football and Beckham is one of my favourite players so I'll always remember that day."
The youngster and his family – parents Di and David and his two older sisters Hannah and Issy – all rallied around the Stand Up To Cancer campaign, who in turn expressed their own sadness at his death on Thursday.
"We're extremely sad to hear the news that Lloyd, whose story touched millions of us during last year's show, died yesterday. He was a hero and an inspiration to us all. Lloyd – we Stand Up To Cancer for you," they posted on the charity's official Facebook page.