A YOUNG Wirral footballer who battled cancer was remembered by his friends and teachers at an inaugural tournament created in his honour.
Prenton schoolboy Cole Breadner was just 10-years-old when he died in February, just 16 weeks after being diagnosed with the rare and aggressive Burkitt’s lymphoma.
After his death, teachers at his school – Prenton Primary – thought long and hard for a fitting and lasting tribute to the football-mad pupil, coming up with “Cole’s Cup” – a knockout football tournament.
The inaugural event took place on Friday with 16 teams from primary schools across Wirral battling it out to be crowned champions.
He was also be remembered on Friday when 400 balloons are released from the school, also attended by Cole’s younger brothers, Lincoln, seven, and Korey, five.
Cole, described by his teachers as a credit to his family, was known for his ever-changing hairstyles and his smile, as well as his love of Everton Football Club.
His mum, 37-year-old Jackie, told the Globe she was extremely touched by the school’s tribute to her son.
She said Cole - who had found out he had passed his 11 plus exam the day before his diagnosis and gained a place at Wirral Grammar - had loved school and even when he was poorly, had attended at every opportunity.
“It was October and Cole had just sat his 11 plus and I thought he was just a bit anxious about his results and a bit run down because he just didn’t seem himself,” said Jackie.
“He got his results through and he had got 94%. He was a very clever boy.”
Jackie added: “On the Tuesday I took him to the out of hours centre because his tummy looked a little swollen and the doctors found three large masses on his abdomen.”
Cole was then taken to Alder Hey Hospital and was treated with intensive chemotherapy.
Cole's school friends took part in the inaugural Cole's Cup at Prenton Primary.
He had returned home on February 7 after undergoing an operation to remove the remainder of the mass, but Jackie said he still was not himself.
“He died suddenly on February 16. It was completely unexpected, a complete shock,” said Jackie.
“Cole was known for his ever-changing hairstyles and his smile because he always had a smile on his face.
“He was such a lovely boy and everyone put tributes in his memory box to say they would miss his hairstyles.”
Friday’s event – which saw St George’s Primary School as the victors – raised close to £1,000 for cancer charities.
Jackie added: “I can’t praise the school enough, they have been fabulous. What they are doing to remember Cole is fantastic.”
Headteacher Sandra Lloyd said: “We wanted to make sure that there was a fitting and lasting tribute to Cole. He was a lovely boy, very talented, very popular, kind and caring.
“He was a great ambassador for the school and an absolute credit to his family.”
Jackie added: “Cole was an amazing big brother and both Lincoln and Korey say what they miss most are his smile and hugs.
“He was growing up into such a great young man. His dad Kane and I are still in complete shock about his death.”