Sunday, 16 October 2011

Tribute to little Jack – hero of Prem stars

HE was the brave little lad who planted a kiss on Wayne Rooney's head.
And yesterday, as tributes poured in for six-year-old Jack Marshall — who has died from a brain tumour — the Man Utd star was one of a host of Twitter followers to send his condolences.

Reds fan Jack visited the team's training ground in April and told the footballer: "I'd like to kiss you, Wayne. I think you are the best footballer in the world."

Defender Rio Ferdinand had organised the trip for the boy and his parents, Tracey and Craig, after hearing about his plight. Jack was diagnosed with a brain tumour when he was just four.

The news of his tragic death on Thursday was announced on Twitter.

The message from his parents said: "Covered in his beloved Man Utd blanket and snuggled in Tracey's arms, Jack decided that in true Manchester United fashion 'he'd do what he wants' for the final time and passed away peacefully with us, his family, at his side... We are all devastated, but take comfort in the fact that Jack lived life to the full right up to the very end."

During his treatment he endured a major op and gruelling bouts of chemo and radiotherapy without complaint.

Last night dad Craig, from Scunthorpe, said: "The way Jack dealt with his disease and smiled and just carried on with everything inspired everybody who met him."

Celebrities' Tweets

@JackWilshere: Sad day, privileged to have known little @Jack_Marshall_ thoughts with his family, will be missed by so many!

@ColeenRoo: Good night godbless. My thoughts and prayers are with all family and friends.

@WayneRooney: So sorry for the loss of little jack. He really touched me and my deepest sympathy is with u all. RIP jack. A true hero.

@rioferdy5: So sorry to hear he passed away, brave kid.

@serenawilliams: I am so happy I met you. Today is sad for me. You were a brave kid. I love u always.

By kate Jackson The Sun

13.10.2011 RIP Jackamo we love you

At 11am this morning (Thursday 13th October) the world changed forever. Covered in his beloved Man Utd blanket and snuggled in Tracey’s arms, Jack decided that in true Manchester United fashion “He’d do what he wants” for the final time and passed away peacefully with us, his family, at his side. He is now laid on his bed at our side, dressed in his Man Utd kit, with Snowman and Meerkat laying with him. We are all devastated, but take comfort in the fact that Jack lived life to the full right up to the very end. We are so very proud of Jack and the way he dealt with his disease, with a smile and a glint in his eye. Thank you, everyone of #jacksarmy for all your help and support so far. #RIPJackamoWELOVEYOUxx


Why Jack Wilshere took brave Jack Marshall to his heart By Oliver Holt

Why Jack Wilshere took brave Jack Marshall to his heart

By Oliver Holt
Published 21:00 11/10/11

Maybe it is because he has encountered tragedy in his life before that Jack Wilshere has done what he has done for little Jack Marshall and his family.

Maybe it is because Wilshere’s uncle, a young man who was more like a brother to him, was killed in a car crash at just 16.

“I had just played my first game for England Schoolboys and I was so happy and so thrilled,” Wilshere says.

“Then we got the news. My uncle was a passenger in a car that went out of control. It was the worst thing that has ever happened to me.”

Or perhaps it’s because the Arsenal midfielder, the brightest young talent in English football, has known since the start of the year that he was to become a father himself.

Perhaps it’s because since his son, Archie, was born a fortnight ago, he has understood even more keenly how precious the gift of life is.

“When we got Archie,” Wilshere says, “it made me realise even more what Jack’s family are going through.

“Everyone hopes that what has happened to Jack will never happen to their kid.

“All I wanted was for Archie to be healthy when he was born but I still worry about him all the time, anyway.

“We check him over and over again at night. What’s happened to Jack is every parent’s worst nightmare.”

What happened to Jack Marshall, a beautiful, brave, loving child who has touched many, many people with his courage and his cheerfulness, was a brain tumour.

A tumour that transformed him from a carefree little boy obsessed with football in general and Manchester United in particular to a six-year-old kid clinging desperately to life.

What happened to him is that after surviving an operation to remove the primary tumour, he learned to walk again by tottering after a football sent by Sir Alex Ferguson.

What happened to him is that the brain tumour, a form of cancer which kills more kids in the UK than any other variation of the disease, began growing and spreading again.

And six months ago, the hospital sent him back to his home in Scunthorpe and told his parents, Tracey and Craig, and his elder brother Josh, 12, that Jack would be dead within days.

So while Tracey and Craig have been trapped in a living hell, Jack has defied the doctors’ predictions by fighting on and on.

And his parents have devoted every moment to caring for him, trying to make every day special for him, while they watch him fade.

To add to their anguish and for reasons only the kids involved could explain, some local boys have begun to bully Josh since his brother became ill.

A couple of months ago, he was beaten up in the local park while he was playing football.

Many people in sport have been kind. Rio Ferdinand helped to arrange a visit for Jack and his family to the Manchester United training ground.

Wayne Rooney has worn a Jack Marshall wristband to raise awareness of the prevalence of brain tumours and encourage their early detection.

And Serena Williams organised tickets for Jack and his family to meet her at Wimbledon in the summer and watch her play.

Wilshere, though, has been a constant. He might be 19 but he has behaved with the kind of care that most people only discover later in life.

I have visited Jack Marshall and sat at his bedside and it is not comfortable seeing a child enduring such suffering.

It is difficult emotionally, particularly if you have never been close to that kind of pain and misfortune.

The easy thing, particularly for a teenager with the football world at his feet, would be to turn away, to keep the kid at arm’s length. But Wilshere didn’t do that. He became aware of Jack’s plight through Twitter but he didn’t stop at supportive tweets or expressions of concern.

When Jack Marshall and his family made the journey south to watch the tennis at Wimbledon, Wilshere and his mum, Kerry, met them later in their trip and spent a day with them.

“My mum cried the whole way home,” Wilshere says. “There was something about Jack. It’s obvious, I suppose, but his strength in adversity was inspiring.”

Wilshere kept in touch. Aware that the family desperately needed a break from the strain of their day-to-day struggle, he invited them to watch Arsenal in the pre-season Emirates Cup at the end of July.

They went to Wilshere’s house for a barbeque and met Wilshere’s dad, Andy, too. They joked with Wilshere about the sleepless nights he was about to endure with the arrival of his baby.

Their own sleepless nights are different. They get up with their boy in the early hours, too, to give him medicine that keeps him alive. His wakefulness is limited now. Every time Wilshere sees him, he notices Jack is less and less able to talk.

Little Jack sleeps most of the day. His world is contracting as Wilshere’s opens up before him.

In mid-August, Wilshere invited Jack and his family down to London again for the Champions League qualifier against Udinese.

And then, when he heard about what was happening to Josh, Wilshere and a friend made the journey up to Scunthorpe and took him to the park to watch him kick a football around.

The kid who beat Josh up was there. His mouth dropped open when he saw him hanging out with the man who is tipped by Alan Shearer to be England captain one day.

Josh had been scared to go back to the park after what had happened to him but since Wilshere’s visit, he’s been heading over there regularly.

“Josh is only 12,” Wilshere says. “No kid should have to endure what he’s been going through. His brother’s brave and he’s brave, too.”

Tracey Marshall finds it hard to express how much gratitude she feels towards Wilshere.

She says she has tried to tell him the difference he has made to their lives but she’s not sure she’s got her message across.

“Josh will come home and say ‘can I give Jack a ring’,” Tracey says. “If Jack’s busy, he’ll explain to him and say he will call him back. And he always calls back. For me, that is a little bit of light in all this darkness.

“Jack Wilshere has done more for us than he will ever know. He has pulled us through many weeks.

“When he invited us to London, he gave us the reason and the means to get out of the house and just have a few days away as a family. I have told him how much it means to us but I’m not sure if he realises properly. I can’t put into words what he has done.

“He chose to do this. He did not have to agree to meet up with us. Seeing a little child very poorly is not easy. He does not have to do it.

“He could have looked away. Some people pretend our Jack is just not there but Jack Wilshere has never done that.

“We have seen Josh come in from school really upset and down because of what’s going on. And then Jack has rung and suddenly he has a massive smile on his face. I can’t do that for him but Jack can.”

Wilshere has a tattoo on his wrist as a tribute to the uncle who was like a brother to him. “James Marshall 1990-2006”, it says.

“The name’s a strange coincidence,” Wilshere says.

Maybe it’s another reason why he has taken the little boy and his family to his heart.

But the truth is the reason doesn’t really matter.

What matters is that an England footballer who didn’t need to help has given comfort to a family who found it where they least expected it.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Twitter/Facebook picture for the day! Thank you BT AWARE

Tomorrow 23rd September 2011 will be 6 months since we brought @Jack_Marshall_ home after being told the shocking news his cancer had come back and was terminal we were told he would probably not see out that weekend back in March 2011 today Jack is STILL fighting and has done us so proud.
Please today can I ask you make this picture ABOVE of Jack your Avatar Picture(taken while visiting London, having fought Jack has given us wonderful memories with him, more than we could of hoped for)

Please can You also tweet this " Ive changed my picture for 48hrs to raise Brain Tumour awareness on behalf of @Jack_Marshall_ You can too: #jacksarmy "

Can I ask that #JacksArmy use this picture tomorrow, Friday and Saturday as their avatar and help us raise Brain Tumour awareness over the whole of Twitter and Facebook?

Thank you for your constant messages of support to Jack and my family! #Jack6MonthsOnStillGoingStrong #Notgoingdownwithoutafight

Monday, 5 September 2011

The Jack Marshall Story by James Calvert

Jack Marshall’s plight and the campaign to raise money to help other children survive cancer has brought out another side of players like Rio Ferdinand (left), Wayne Rooney (centre) and Jack Wilshere (right). Photos: AFP


There are a lot of things about modern-day football that make me uneasy – ticket prices, player wages, hooliganism and Manchester City’s owners to name but a few.
Rarely a month – if not a week, day or hour – goes by without hearing of something that makes me feel less and less emotionally involved with the game.
However, there is also another side to football. A side that has been around probably since the game was first invented. A side that goes a long way towards redressing the balance in football’s favour.
Here is a story about that more acceptable facet of the game that I felt compelled to share with you. A story about a boy called Jack Marshall.
Six-year-old Jack has terminal cancer. Despite his best efforts to fight the disease over the past two years, it has spread and the brain tumour is now incurable.
Despite their heartache, his parents – and I can’t even begin to imagine the hell they are going through – have launched a campaign to raise money to buy scanning equipment for early diagnosis so other children may have a better chance of surviving.
It is this campaign, combined with the Jack’s plight, that has brought out a side of football that warms the heart and proves there is still a lot of good to be found in the game.
Jack is, to put it mildly, an absolutely fanatical Manchester United supporter. He simply adores everything about the team. And that has prompted a magnificent response from the club, who invited the boy to spend the day with them at their Carrington training base despite the fact that he was bedridden.
The image of Jack laid in his bed asking Wayne Rooney to come closer so he could give him a kiss for “being the best player in the world” is one that makes me tear up every time I think about it. Even now.
The visit was organised by Rio Ferdinand, a player who never shies away from getting stuck in to good causes. And full credit to Rooney, who you could tell was involved because he genuinely wanted to be.
Even before that visit, Sir Alex Ferguson had already arranged for a box of United memorabilia to be waiting for Jack when he returned home from one of his major operations. And it was by using a football signed by United that the lad defied doctors and learnt to walk all over again.
But, and this is where the story really warms the heart, it isn’t just Manchester United, their players and Sir Alex who have rallied round.
It is the whole of English football.
Wolves fans, for example, have carried a huge banner with Jack’s name on it to games so he could see it on television as he watched from his bed. A simple but significant gesture and a reminder that people are thinking about him.
Another fan went to every match last season shirtless, no matter what the weather, to raise money for the Jack Marshall Fund, while Norwich City supporters started a fantasy football league to help generate cash.
The list goes on. There is hardly a football club in the country that has not done something or other to either make Jack’s life more comfortable or raise awareness of a disease that afflicts one in every 2,500 children.
But even more touching is the response of one player in particular: Arsenal and England midfielder Jack Wilshere. Although many, myself included, would expect a young millionaire like Wilshere to have ‘better’ things to do with his life, he has befriended Jack Marshall in a way that is extremely touching.
We are not talking about something done for publicity purposes here, but a genuine friendship that has grown and blossomed between the two Jacks – one with a whole glittering life ahead of him and the other with possibly weeks or days to live.
Big Jack takes little Jack out, invites him and his family around to his house, spends his free time at little Jack’s house playing Playstation and watching games and even helps out packing up the fund-raising wristbands which are now being worn by players.
And let’s not forget that Big Jack plays for Arsenal, not Manchester United. I’m not saying that should make a difference, of course, but it makes the friendship that less likely to have developed.
Rarely a day goes by without Jack Wilshere tweeting about his young friend, which I am sure has contributed in no small way to gaining little Jack more than 60,000 followers on the micro blogging site.
I read an article somewhere describing how football had always been Jack Marshall’s life. The first time he learnt to walk, he did so by kicking a football round the house. The second time too.
Now, in the latter stages of a young life that is being so cruelly cut short, football is trying to give a little something back to the boy.
As a game, football has its faults. Oh so many of them. But there is also something about it and the people that follow it that can inspire and give hope.
It’s too late for little Jack now. All that can be done is make him happier and more comfortable during the time he has left.
But if this groundswell of sympathy and support from the football world can save just one child like Jack in the future, then it will prove there is a power to football that goes far beyond what happens on the pitch.
If you want to follow little Jack on Twitter he is @Jack_Marshall_ or alternatively check out or facebook Jack Marshall Brain Tumour Fund

written by James Calvert

Tracey's own picture of Jack with brother Josh whom also helps us raise brain tumour awareness
to see online article please follow this link below Thank you
Twitter: @maltablade

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Jacks been home nearly 6 months! UPDATE

As it is coming up to 6 months since we brought home Jack that day I thought it appropriate to update you all!
When we came home on the 23rd March 2011 with Jack it was the hardest thing we ever did, Jacks brain tumour had come back and spread across his brain and down his spine! All I new is that I wanted him home with US his family for cuddles and laughter and smiles! Jack was very poorly in this picture and we were told he would not survive the weekend! We were absolutley devastated I got in the ambulance a medicine in each hand to give to jack if needed in the ambulance if he was in pain or had a seizure I had to give it!! The staff (some in tears) waved us off for the last time!

we arrived home in the ambulance and as we came in through the door i asked Jack where he wanted to be in the house, "In the front room to play on the Wii mum" We continued as a family looking for memories to remember, Jack Wilshere and his family have been amazing and because of them we have had some GREAT memories and made some really TRUE friends! Considering our circumstance we have had some amazing times with Jack over the last 6 months because of some other AMAZING people too!! And from there on in he seemed to get better! the hospital we left for the last time we went back to for an MRI when we were 4 MONTHS in!! the MRI showed the disease had spread further and the consultant was surprised that he wasn't more symptomatic, palliative care was to continue and I was told when i questioned us going away after the MRI "Tracey, in palliative care, they live until they day" and I will NEVER forget that?! And we benefited from that!
We have faced and continue to face difficult hard decisions(understatement) every single day but Jack helps us with a smile every step of the way to make the right ones!:)

Now today nearly 6 months in, he is comfortable.We were told the other day that that his bone marrow is becoming affected as the cancer has spread more! which could lead to low platelet count and blood, bleeding,and other things to awful to write,(to see symptoms of low blood/platelet counts please look on internet) they will NOT transfuse Jack but only offer us support so WE can manage his symptoms (that for US as parent is a hard pill to swallow, we have to sit back wait and witness his decline in this way!!) They are not sure how this could effect Jack in other ways as the hospital has not seen a case before were a child has lived so long after coming home in the circumstance we did! We are not sure how long Jack has left, maybe weeks but the medicines we are needing to give Jack could change that in a minute so we are still making the most of every day!
Thank you for all your support shown to Jack and my family along the way, see you on twitter of facebook or here!?? pl also go to to get a Jack marshall brain tumour awareness wristband

NOW, jACK AND I, Jack is still fighting nearly 6 months later, even now when everything else has left him he is STILL smiling! We are so proud of him and the brain tumour awareness he has raised by smiling, being brave, caring, loving and having a fantastic sense of humour, through the awful treatment he has had to have! he is way beyond his 6 years of age! Love you Jack 100, 5,4 kisses as you would say!