The mother of a Sheffield Wednesday superfan who died of a rare heart condition aged just 13 rubbed shoulders with the stars at the Pride of Britain awards.
Keira Hayden met Simon Cowell, comedian and actor Paddy McGuinness, Premier League footballer Jesse Lingard on the red carpet at London’s Grosvenor Hotel on Monday.
She won the ITV Yorkshire regional fundraiser of the year award for the fundraising and campaigning she has done since her son Tom Bothamley died while watching music videos on his laptop in July 2016.
Tom, of Flanderwell, Rotherham, died from so-called long QT syndrome – a heart condition which causs an irregular heartbeat.
The youngster, who played for Wickersley youth Junior FC, was a huge Wednesday fan and became the Owls’ youngest club member when granddad Paul Carder registered him on the day he was born.
Keira, 31, said: “It was brilliant. We had a right good time. I didn’t win the national fundraiser it went to someone who had raised £1 million for the Royal British Legion over 30 years
“But it was a really good experience, I loved it.”
Tom’s death was the third tragedy to hit Keira. His father Ryan died of sudden adult death syndrome aged 15 in February 2002, while Keira was pregnant with Tom.
Her 23-month-old son Joshua Donelly died on Christmas Day in 2007.
Keira said: “I was in complete and utter shock when the lady phoned me to tell me I’d been nominated. I ended up getting lost in the middle of Rotherham because I was just in total disbelief.
“I’m truly overwhelmed by it and I don’t feel I deserve it as everyone made it happen and I’ve just done what any other parent do.
Without everyone’s help, we wouldn’t be able to place these life-saving devices into the community.”
Tom’s family, including grandparents Julie and Paul Carder, launched a huge fundraising campaign following his death and have installed numberous defibrillators around Wickersley and Bramley in his memory.
The family has also called for heart screening to be made complusory for children and hold an annual fundraiser every July in his memory, which this year raised more than £7,700.
Hundreds of people attended Tom's funeral in July 2016.
Keira described him as her ‘star, who had brought joy into so many lifes’.
She added: “He was a true inspiration to everyone he met. The memories people have shared with us have been overwhelming. “We are so proud of the young man Thomas was becoming and the positive impact he had on the people who knew him.
“He was so beautiful and talented, such a handsome man gone too soon. Thomas was our star.”