THE family of a young boy who inspired a huge fundraising campaign when he was diagnosed with a rare cancer have announced he died yesterday.

Freddie Thompson, from Ampleforth, North Yorkshire, had suffered a relapse following intensive treatment for neuroblastoma.

A message posted on the Freddie's Fight Facebook page this morning said: "It breaks our hearts to let you know Freddie passed away yesterday.

"Our beautiful, brave boy fought until the end but his little body just didn't have the strength to fight the aggressive cancer that had returned.

"He passed peacefully, surrounded by family and those who loved him dearly.

"He was looked after so well by the incredibly supportive and caring staff on ward 31 of Leeds General Infirmary and we cannot thank these amazing medical professionals enough. They showed so much love towards Freddie and made the last few days a lot easier for us.

"Candlelighters staff also brought us a lot of comfort and support and created some beautiful keepsakes for us.

"We are also very thankful for all the support we have received from every one of you over the last ten months and know we can rely on your continued support over the coming days, weeks and months."

Freddie was diagnosed with neuroblastoma last September, and his family began fundraising in a bid to fly the youngster to the Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital in New York for treatment.

Thousands of people from across the region, in particular the farming community of North Yorkshire, supported the campaign.