THE appeal to help sick York schoolboy Oscar Hughes has raised more than £11,500 in four days – and is now being backed by former York City and Manchester United player Jonathan Greening.

The midfielder, who now plays for Nottingham Forest, has pledged to try to raise £5,000 in one week and says that if he succeeds, he will give one of his Forest team-mates the joy of shaving off his long locks. Forest fans have been urged to make a donation.

A fundraising campaign for Oscar was launched last Wednesday after the nine-year-old from Dunnington suffered a major relapse in his recovery from a brain tumour.

Campaigners hope to raise £150,000 to fund a possible journey abroad for him to take part in promising research and clinical trials.

The total raised on the website had reached £11,502 by yesterday lunchtime, and Oscar's parents Marie and Ian posted a comment saying the support from everyone had been overwhelming.

They said the money had come from friends and family and also people they had never met who had been moved by Oscar's story.

“Please keep us in your thoughts, and thank you so much to everyone who has donated or agreed to do something to help us,” they said. “It means more to our family than we could ever say.”

Oscar was featured in the programme for York City's home game on Saturday against Newport County at the request of former player Richard Cresswell, who is a friend of the family.

In an article, Osca's parents said scans had shown that cancer cells had spread all over his brain and spine, and doctors had said there was no known cure.

However medics had inserted a tube to feed chemo drugs straight into his brain fluids as a short to medium term solution. “Our hope is that this will keep the disease controlled until we can find a different treatment plan that will cure Oscar," they said.

“We strongly believe that there is a cure for this disease and we want Oscar, who has been so strong in fighting all of this, to be part of the solution and to help other children in the future who find themselves with this cruel and horrible disease.”