Goodnight, sweetheart

  • by Staff Writer
  • Tuesday, 25th January 2022

Isla Caton, whose story has been an aspiration to everyone involved with West Ham United - and far beyond - has passed away.

Aged just seven, the little Hammer fought rare child cancer neuroblastoma for much of her life, but her family were told just weeks before Christmas that her condition was terminal.

And on Tuesday morning the family revealed that little Isla had lost her battle.

"It is with the heaviest of broken hearts that we must announce Isla gained her angel wings early hours of this morning," read a message posted on the family's twitter feed.

"It was very peaceful and surrounded by the continued love of [mother] Nicola, [father] Michael and Millie. God bless our brave Isla."

Tributes to Isla were led by West Ham United club captain Mark Noble, who became a friend of the family during a series of fund-raising events.

“It was devastating to hear the news and, on behalf of everyone at the Club, I’d like to express my sadness and send condolences to Nikki, Michael and Isla’s loved ones at this time," he said.

“I was first introduced to Isla when I carried her out as our mascot for our Premier League game against Bournemouth in January 2018, and it was immediately clear that she was a very special little girl.

“Isla’s incredible bravery and positivity shone through every time I met her, she had a fantastic smile and a love of life that was inspirational. Her battle caught the imagination of us all as well as fans of other clubs.

“The fact that she fought for so long shows just how courageous she was. Something like this makes you realise how cruel and unfair life can be, but also how important it is to be grateful for what we have. Isla managed to inspire so many people, and we are all privileged to have known her.

“Her passing has left all of us feeling heartbroken and empty, but Isla will never be forgotten. She will be one of the West Ham family forever. Rest in peace, little Isla.”

It has been confirmed that Isla's funeral will take place on Friday, 28 January at the South Essex Crematorium in Upminster. The family have confirmed that an internet feed will be provided for those wishing to watch the service, which will be a celebration of her life.

The thoughts of everyone at Knees up Mother Brown are very much with the family and friends of Isla - especially Nicola, Michael and Mille - at this time.

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