Charlton Athletic football fans have come together to raise more than £1,400 for Young Lives vs Cancer in honour of a young fan from Plumstead at the weekend.

On Saturday, September 23, Charlton Athletic fans raised the money during their home game against Wycombe Wanderers.

The money was raised in memory of Charlton fan Ben Jay who died in February last year, aged just 17.

Ben’s family and friends came together to hold a bucket collection outside The Valley before the game, raising £1,458 for the charity through The Ben Jay Butterfly Fund, set up to help other children and young people facing cancer.

Ben and his family were supported by Young Lives vs Cancer, the UK’s leading charity for children and young people with cancer, throughout.

News Shopper: 17-year-old Ben was a footie-mad fan, and supported Charlton Athletic along with his dad, Garry, and spent a lot of time with family and friends at The Valley.

In 2020, Ben became unwell and despite multiple trips to the GP and A&E over the course of 18 months, he and his parents were told he was fine, and his symptoms where the cause of a long-term health condition Ben was living with.

However, after being rushed into hospital in July 2021 where he had various tests and scans, Ben and his family were given the devastating news that Ben had Hepatocellular carcinoma, a very rare type of liver cancer.

Just one month later, Ben had his first round of chemotherapy, followed by a further six rounds over the next few months.

On February 4, just seven months after receiving his cancer diagnosis, Ben passed away at 17 years-old.

Sharon Jay, Ben’s mum said: “Our son was a huge Charlton fan that followed games home and away with his friends.

“I would like to take the opportunity to thank Charlton FC especially Tracey Leaburn, as well as all the Charlton fans for the love and support they showed our Ben whilst fighting cancer.

“Ben had the most amazing seven months a young boy could ask for.

“Ben’s dream to walk on the pitch alongside the players was fulfilled, to have his name shouted from the stands but most of all the applause by fans and players was truly an amazing memory for us as Ben’s parents that will forever stay in our hearts we will always are forever be grateful.”

Last year in London, Young Lives vs Cancer helped 728 families find the strength to face cancer.

They gave out 594 financial grants to the value of £113,027 helping families to cope with the costs of cancer.

The Cancer Costs report from the charity found that families with a child on active treatment spend an extra £700 a month.

Alex Drury, Young Lives vs Cancer Senior Fundraising Engagement Manager for South London and Kent said: “When cancer strikes young lives, we step in to help families find the strength to face everything cancer throws at them.

“We rely entirely on donations to fund our vital work and so we can’t thank all at Charlton Athletic FC enough for their fantastic efforts.

“It was an electric atmosphere on the day and we are so grateful to Ben’s family and friends for collecting, and to everyone who donated.

"This money will have a huge impact on our work, ensuring we can continue to help children and young people with cancer and their families during the toughest of times.”