Event to celebrate life of brave Sheffield boy after battle with cancer
A celebration of a Sheffield boy's life is to be held just days after he would have celebrated his ninth birthday.
Kasabian Newton-Smith, aged eight, lost his brave battle with cancer over the weekend after first being diagnosed when he was two.
His plight touched football fans across the country when his condition deteriorated and family and friends tried to fulfill his last wishes in a fight against time.
An online appeal for Kasabian to meet his favourite footballer, Manchester United's Wayne Rooney, went viral, with grassroots players up and down the country all posting pictures of themselves doing Rooney's trademark goal celebration with one finger in the air and using the hashtag '1 Last Smile For Kasabian'.
Professionals also added their weight to the campaign and Rooney, who was on international duties with England, sent a video message to the youngster along with a signed shirt.
Sheffield United players visited the sick youngster at home and captain Billy Sharp dedicated a win to Kasabian live on Sky Sports.
Kasabian's funeral is for close family and friends only, but his parents are hosting a celebration of his life at Wadsley Bridge Club, Halifax Road, from 5pm on Wednesday, December 21.
Issuing a statement through the Sheffield and District Junior Sunday League, his parents, Kay and Simon, said: "The family would like to thank everyone for their generosity and kind words during this sad time.
"It has been so overwhelming for everyone involved - even people who never met Kas but captured your hearts. But this was Kas, always smiling and everyone who did know him will tell you this.
"We as a family appreciate the vast amount of people who came together as a football nation from all over the country and we send our warmest best wishes and gratitude to each and everyone of you.
"There are just to many to list to appreciate but lets now smile for Kas. We would like to invite you to join us in a celebration of Kas' life.
"Kasabian's favourite colour was yellow therefore we are kindly asking for everyone to come smartly dressed and to wear yellow within their outfits worn for the occasion."
Kasabian's family has asked for donations in memory of the youngster to go to Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice and Southey Wolves Football Club, where he played.
The youngster, from Parson Cross, was given a fortnight to live when he was a toddler but battled against the odds to overcome a number of different forms of cancer.
Medics found a brain tumour the size of a man’s fist when he was two, then it was discovered that he had a rare form of bone cancer, for which he was treated in America.
In 2013 he was diagnosed with cancer in his neck and spine before developing inoperable brain tumours last year.