Isla Caton 'gains her angel wings' after five-year cancer battle

Isla Caton, two, is battling neuroblastoma. Picture: Nicola Caton

Hornchurch girl Isla Caton has passed away, aged seven - Credit: Nicola Caton

Isla Caton has passed away overnight after a long and painful battle with cancer.

The Hornchurch seven-year-old has been fighting neuroblastoma cancer for most of her childhood, leaving mum Nicola Caton fearful that she wouldn't live to see Christmas.

Announcing the tragic news on Twitter this morning - January 25 - @islasfight posted: "It is with the heaviest of broken hearts that we must announce Isla gained her angel wings early hours of this morning.

"[I]t was very peaceful and surrounded by the continued love of Nicola, Michael & Millie. God bless our brave Isla."

The Facebook page 'Isla Caton's Fight Against Neuroblastoma' confirmed her death, posting: "I just want to let you all know that Isla passed away about 3.15am this morning completely peacefully."

Isla with parents Nicola and Michael. Picture: KEN MEARS

Isla with parents Nicola and Michael. Picture: KEN MEARS - Credit: Archant

Messages of condolences have poured in from people who have followed Isla's brave journey, including football players and sports journalists.

The family of West Ham fans received support from the club throughout Isla's illness, including from players Mark Noble and Robert Snodgrass. 

A moving tribute was posted on the club's official website this morning.

It read: "Everyone in the West Ham United family has been left heartbroken by the passing of brave young Hammer Isla Caton.

"West Ham United maintained close contact with Nicola throughout, with Joint-Chairman David Sullivan and shareholder Daniel Křetínský making donations to her fund and both players and staff keeping in regular touch with Nicola.

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"In December, she was named in West Ham’s squad for the Premier League fixture with Southampton on Boxing Day, wearing the No12 shirt.

"Sadly, just a few weeks on, Isla’s fight has come to an end, but her memory and legacy will live on forever," the post added.

Isla Caton and Mark Noble at Upton Park where Isla was a mascot in a bid to raise money to send her

Isla Caton and Mark Noble at Upton Park where Isla was a mascot in a bid to raise money to send her to America for cancer treatment. - Credit: Archant

A fundraising page set up to make "special memories" for Isla during her final months had raised £87,268 at the time of writing, smashing its £15,000 initial target.