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Gravesend schoolboy who travelled to the US for treatment loses battle with cancer

PUBLISHED: 16:29 07 December 2016 | UPDATED: 16:29 07 December 2016

West Ham fan Jack Howard

West Ham fan Jack Howard

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Football stars have paid tribute to th Gravesend Grammar School pupil

A Gravesend schoolboy who travelled to the US to undergo pioneering cancer treatment has lost his battle with the illness.

Jack Howard, who attended Gravesend Grammar School, passed away last weekend at the age of 13 after the treatment he received in Los Angeles failed to cure his kidney cancer.

Generous donors pledged more than £250,000 to fund the treatment, but the family returned home to Hartley last month when it became clear it had not worked.

A family friend broke the news on Twitter, writing: “With a heavy heart we are sad to announce Jack passed away on Sunday night, the family would like to thank everyone for their support.”

His aunt, Keely Howard, added: “He was with his mum and dad in bed when it happened and is now in peace with his West Ham shirt on.”

Stars from Jack’s favourite football team, West Ham United, paid tribute to the brave youngster.

Midfielder Sam Byram said: “It’s hugely saddening to hear about Jack’s passing. His energy, positivity and strength were inspiring.

“You could tell how passionate he was, so it’s very hard news to take. My thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.”

Dimitri Payet added: “I really enjoyed our conversation with Jack a few weeks ago, so it’s very sad news. I’d like to say thank you to everyone who helped treat him and wish his family well.”

The youngster previously underwent treatment for kidney cancer in 2013. He had a kidney removed before going into remission in February 2014, but the cancer returned in December last year and spread to his lungs.

Jack attracted support from around the world, with The Rolling Stones and LA Galaxy defender AJ Delagarza among the stars who sent messages to the youngster as he underwent treatment.

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