Comedian describes ‘honour’ of meeting fundraising Burntwood teen

A comedian has described meeting dying Burntwood teenager Stephen Sutton as “an honour”.

Jason Manford was one of hundreds of celebrities who met the 19-year-old as part of a fundraising drive in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust.

And as Stephen revealed the deterioration in his health on Facebook, the Manchester comedian has championed a drive to take his fundraising efforts past the £1million mark, donating £10,000 to the cause himself – a figure that has since been matched by fellow comic John Bishop.

“Some keep saying what I have done is special, but I’m just a silly clown who occasionally realises how lucky I am,” he wrote in an emotional post online. “It’s Stephen who is special for dedicating his last few months to not only raising money for this fabulous charity, but also raising hope.

Jason Manford with Stephen Sutton

Jason Manford with Stephen Sutton

“So many children who aren’t well or dying of this terrible disease can look up to him and see that life, as fleeting as it is, is still the longest thing any of us do, and it’s up to us to make sure we fill it with special moments with special people.

“One dying boy wished for one magnificent thing, not for himself but for the benefit of hundreds of other children, and we, even in our little way, have been able to help.

“Goodnight God bless Stephen Sutton, sleep peacefully knowing that you made a difference. I will remember you every time I catch myself taking life for granted.

“It was an honour to have met you, you superb boy.”

Celebrities including Claire Balding, Caitlin Moran, Tim Minchin, Kym Marsh and Pixie Lott joined Jason Manford’s online drive as Stephen’s fundraising total topped the £750,000 mark. Text donations which have not yet been added are likely to push it over £1million.

The impact of Stephen’s story has now been felt worldwide after his emotional post on Facebook drew attention from around the globe.

“I want all children to feel excited at being alive,” Jason added. “Stephen, even until today, was excited at being alive.

“He didn’t focus on the fact he was leaving the party early, he was just thinking ‘thank you for letting me come to the party at all’.

“He wasn’t focussing on the things he would never see, children of his own, a home, a wife. No, he is one of those rare humans who focuses on the amazing things life has given him so far, on his family and friends, and the amazing random gift that life actually is in the first place, no matter how long we get to have it for.”

People can donate via Stephen’s JustGiving page or by texting “STEPHEN” to 70500 to donate £5.

Meanwhile, a number of comedy nights across the country will also see profits going to Stephen’s fundraising drive.

Jason revealed that eight of his Manford’s Comedy Club shows for the next month – including two in Birmingham – will lend a hand.

For details on dates and booking go online.

See some of the celebrity support for Stephen below:

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.