Tributes as cancer teenager Jak Trueman dies

Jak Trueman with his mum and sister
Jak Trueman with his mum and sister
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BRAVE 15-year-old Jak Trueman has lost his battle with a rare form of blood cancer having raised more than £40,000 in a week.

Tributes started pouring in yesterday to popular West Calder High School pupil Jak Trueman who was diagnosed a very rare form of blood cancer - known as Gammadelta T-cell ­lymphoma - in August.

The 15-year-old had been set for a bone marrow transplant two weeks ago but his bloodwork showed worrying signals and doctors told the family that the disease had spread to his bones and organs.

His condition deteriorated rapidly and yesterday his mum Alison Barr, of Mid Calder, posted on the Facebook page Jak’s Journey: “Devastated and heartbroken to say my beautiful boy’s gone to Heaven.

“God bless Jak. I am the proudest Mummy ever xxxxx.

“Simply the best xxx.”

In his final days Jak set up a fundraising page for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, which has raised an astonishing £40,000 - more than double the original target.

The lifelong Rangers fan was due to attend the semi final at Hampden on Sunday but he was too unwell to make the game where supporters shouted “There’s only one Jak Trueman” during the 20th minute in his honour.

A spokesperson for Rangers said yesterday: “Everyone at Rangers Football Club is deeply saddened to hear that Jak lost his battle with cancer earlier today.

“Jak was such a brave young man who will be sadly missed by so many people and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this very difficult time.”

The football-mad teenager played as goalkeeper for the Mid Calder Colts under 16s right up until this season.

His team have decided to retire the number one jersey - which Jak wore throughout his time at the club - in memory of the talented teenager.

Coach Alan Porter said: “Jak was one of the nicest human beings you could ever meet. He was an outstanding young lad who would do anything for anybody.

“We had great times with him at the club.

“If you could just see him smiling. He would melt women’s hearts.

“He is going to leave a big gap in the heart of the community.”

Grieving friends, relatives and supporters took to social media to share their tributes to the courageous youngster.

Rachel Watson wrote on Facebook: “All my love to you all. What a boy, a true inspiration. Brightest star in that sky tonight without a doubt. X”

Gavin Wallace posted: “As I said before, inspirational just doesn’t do you justice. You were even more than that.

“Continue shining like the star you are. God bless and thoughts to all your family. Sleep tight young man. X”

And Robert Shepherd added: “Like many I followed Jak’s journey but never new him personally. I have however, been truly humbled by his courage. You have every right to be the proudest mum of a quite exceptional boy who is a hero and an inspiration to others. He will never be forgotten.”

Jak was granted his last wish when classmates and teachers organised an impromptu prom on Saturday, which the teenager attended for 10 minutes with his girlfriend Hannah Boyd before feeling too ill to stay.

After the event he said on Facebook: ‘I would just like to make a massive apology for me only turning up and then having to go again.

‘I was gutted and really sad as I never spoke to anyone, but I took really unwell really quickly as I had been lying in bed for three days without hardly moving.”

Tearful classmates shouted “There’s only one Jak Trueman” throughout the evening to show their support.

A charity football match will be held in his honour on Sunday at Livingston FC Stadium, with a star lineup including Celtic legend Frank McAvennie, Hearts goalie Neil Alexander and former Rangers players Nacho Novo and Charlie Miller.

Jak hoped to raise enough cash to set up the charity ‘Team Jak’ which will support youngsters battling cancer.

To make a donation visit www.justgiving.com/AM-Barr.