Campaign launched to help Sheffield United fan given weeks to live tie the knot to his long-term partner

Josh Wainwright and Laura Beadle pictured in Corfu in October 2017 - a holiday to celebrate Josh getting the all-clear.
Josh Wainwright and Laura Beadle pictured in Corfu in October 2017 - a holiday to celebrate Josh getting the all-clear.
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Devoted friends of a cancer-stricken Sheffield United fan who has been given just weeks to live have launched a fundraising campaign to help him marry his long-term partner.

Football teammates of Josh Wainwright hope to raise £5,000 to help the 22-year-old tie the knot with Laura Beadle, who he has been with for five years.

Josh Wainwright and Laura Beadle on a night out.

Josh Wainwright and Laura Beadle on a night out.

Josh, of Wincobank, was given the devastating news that he'd had a relapse of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia on Monday - after being given the all clear last August.

He beat the condition once following what he said was the 'most intensive form of chemotherapy' there was and was preparing to move into a new home nearer Laura.

Josh, who plays football for Sunday League side Wincobank Crown Inn FC, said: "I had treatment for three years - I had a year's worth of intense chemotherapy and then a year of maintenance, where I went once a month, and then got the all clear in August 2017.

"I had a relapse and was given the most intensive form of chemotherapy you can get and it caused nerve damage in my foot and toes so it meant I couldn't play football.

"I was doing okay as far as I was aware until a couple of weeks ago when I was watching the England and Colombia World Cup game and I felt a niggle so I went to the hospital. They told me they had done some tests and on Monday they told me that the stem cell transplant and the chemotherapy had not worked."

Doctors told Josh that multiple tumours had returned and that he couldn't have further chemotherapy as it was too soon after his previous treatment

Josh added: "I don't mind other people using the word terminal but I don't like it. I just said to the doctor: 'Am I going to die?' and he said: 'Yes'."

Blades fan Josh first met Laura five years ago and said he had been wanting to marry her for some time.

A fundraising page - set up by teammate Declan Stevens - has already raised almost £2,000 towards the wedding, which is booked for Saturday, July 28.

Josh said: "When I see all the donations and everyone's messages, it's just amazing. Declan is a legend - he is a really good kid and the page has even had donations from people we don't know, which is amazing.

"Declan set the page up on Thursday and by Saturday it was at nearly £2,000, which is quite amazing. I am so grateful to everyone because it will mean we can have a great day."

Josh had just received the keys to a new home nearer Laura but said he wouldn't be able to move into the property.

He added: "We were supposed to be starting a new adventure but that's not going to happen now."

Bride-to-be Laura, 23, said she couldn't wait to walk down the aisle.

She said: "Josh has got loads of friends and I think that has helped with the fundraising but I can't take it all in. It's quite overwhelming because it's all happened at the same time.

"It will mean loads to marry Josh. I love him so much."

Laura said the couple were also looking for a videographer to film the ceremony so that 'she had something to look back on'.

Declan, 19, said: "When Josh was ill the first time Leon Clarke (Sheffield United striker) visited him in hospital. The doctors originally told Josh he was on the mend and then when he had the relapse he asked me if I could get in touch with him and maybe ask about getting a donation because he wanted to marry Laura.

"Then I came up with the idea of setting up a fundraising page and it's gone crazy."

For more information or to donate visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/josh-wainwrights-battle

If you would like to volunteer as a videographer at the wedding email sam.cooper@jpress.co.uk