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Oscar Knox's legacy to live on with golf competition to be held in his name

He's the little boy whose bravery captured hearts around the world with his fight against cancer

By Victoria O'Hara

Published 17/05/2016

Oscar Knox
Oscar Knox
Oscar learning to play golf
Oscar with mum Leona and dad Stephen
Oscar hugging his sister Izzie

An annual golf tournament will be launched in memory of Oscar Knox, the little boy who captured the hearts of people around the world as he fought a rare form of cancer.

'Little fighter' Oscar died two years ago after a brave battle against high-risk neuroblastoma - a rare and aggressive childhood cancer.

He was diagnosed in November 2011 and his parents Stephen and Leona went public in a bid to raise awareness and funds for Oscar's care.

The fundraising drive helped cover the cost of taking Oscar to America for cutting-edge treatment not available in Northern Ireland.

Details of a date and where the golf competition will be held have still not been confirmed, although news of the event has already sparked huge support from the public.

The news was revealed on the Oscar Knox Appeal Facebook site.

"We are very excited to announce that the first annual Oscar Knox Cup will take place later this year!

"Watch this space for further details," it read.

Among the messages of support was one from Karen Kuchar who wrote: "This is going to be a huge event. Oscar's legacy lives forever."

The schoolboy from Mallusk, Co Antrim, captured the hearts of people around the world with his incredible spirit while he fought the disease

A huge support campaign was launched, backed by celebrities and sports stars, including two Olympic medal-winning boxers from Belfast, Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan.

Other famous supporters included boxing legends Barry McGuigan, Tyson Fury and Carl Frampton, as well as the Celtic football team.

Oscar received more than 30 blood transfusions and almost 140 platelet transfusions in just 26 months.

In July 2013 he was invited to join Celtic on the pitch at Parkhead, acting as the club mascot at its Uefa Champions League qualifying match against Cliftonville.

The family raised hundreds of thousands of pounds and starting in 2012, Stephen and Leona kept an online diary for Oscar.

But the couple said they had been "pushed to the limit of what any parent could tolerate in terms of watching their child suffer".

The five-year-old passed away on May 8, 2014.

The former First Minister Peter Robinson was among a number of people who led tributes to the little boy.

"When I met Oscar I was struck by his infinite energy and sense of fun.

"He had a tremendous capacity to overcome the challenges he and his family faced together," he said.

But in a poignant blog posted at the start of the month his heartbroken mum Leona said she was still overwhelmed by unrelenting grief.

On May 8 in a touching tribute she wrote on Twitter: "So much love for Oscar today, thank you.

"My heart is still in a million tiny pieces."

His dad Stephen told the Belfast Telegraph earlier this month: "Oscar was, and still is, an inspiration to many and we're so proud of all he achieved in his short but incredible life."

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