A KIND-HEARTED schoolboy was given a hero’s homecoming today after completing a seven-mile run to raise thousands of pounds for a hospice that cared for his grandparents.

Family, friends and neighbours lined The Wayside, in Hurworth-on-Tees, near Darlington, to cheer on seven-year-old Cian Crang as he stormed through the finishing line.

The speedy youngster’s original target was to raise £700 for St Teresa’s Hospice but he has now broken through the £4,000 mark.

Supporters waved balloons and banners, and cars sounded their horns, as Cian arrived back in his home village at the end of the epic run.

His grandmother, Julie Crang, died in the hospice last year and his grandad, Peter Crang, received pain relief services from the hospice before he died in James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, six years ago.

Mr Crang was one of the founders of 1AB Taxis, and Cian’s dad, also called Peter, is now one of the company directors.

Cian said: “I got a bit tired, but I wanted to keep on going because the hospice cared for my nanna and grandad.”

His dad, who ran alongside him during the seven-mile route, said: “We are all so proud of Cian – he wanted to do something to help the hospice and it’s such a fantastic cause.”

Mum Tina added: “Cian’s worked so hard and it was lovely to see so money people come out to cheer and clap him as he came back into the village at the end of the run.”

One of those waiting for Cian at the finishing line was the Chief Executive of St Teresa’s Hospice, Jane Bradshaw, who said: “I am almost too emotional to speak because I am so overwhelmed by the generosity that people are showing to us.

“Cian’s efforts are just amazing. To run so far at his age, and raise such a huge amount is just incredible. These are horrible times, but community spirit is growing faster than the virus.”

Cian completed the seven miles in one hour six minutes – faster than expected.

He had been building up his stamina by going running around the village with his parents and 12-year-old sister Keisha.

He is planning to join Darlington Harriers once the lockdown is lifted.

Asked how he was planning to spend the rest of the day, he said: “I think I’m going in a hot tub now.”