THE appeal for sick York schoolboy Oscar Hughes has raised £40,000 in a week after winning powerful backing from Manchester United.

Fans from around the world have made donations after the Premier League champions agreed to promote the fundraising drive for the Dunnington nine-year- old on Facebook and Twitter.

Oscar’s parents, Ian and Marie, said the club’s “brilliant” actions meant his story had gone out to more than 70 million followers, and resulted in 72,297 “likes”, 1,071 “shares” and 5,680 “retweets” by yesterday afternoon.

They revealed that Oscar - a United fan who was a mascot for a match at Old Trafford last autumn - gave them a “small smile” when they told him about United’s support.

Other donations included a cheque for £5,000 from a business contact of Ian’s and two £1,000 donations yesterday afternoon, one from a local business.

They said hits for the fundraising website, fightingforoscar, had come from countries including Turkey, China, India, Japan, Thailand and Russia.

The Press first revealed last week how an appeal for £150,000 had been launched after Oscar suffered a relapse in his recovery from a brain tumour.

With cancer cells found all over his brain and spine, doctors have said his condition is incurable but his parents want to fund a possible journey abroad for him to take part in promising research and clinical trials.

The couple said they had now decided to push for formal second opinions and so had got in touch with teams at Great Ormond Street and Royal Marsden Hospitals.

“With our doctors in Leeds we’ve managed to get the top brain tumour specialist to review Oscar’s notes,” they said.

“We hope to gain more insight and hope this will lead to additional cutting-edge treatment for Oscar.”

They said Oscar had had a tough couple of days, with the drugs to help with the relapse having made him very sleepy and pretty much bed-bound.

“Additionally we’ve seen a few more seizures which are very scary and also mean we’re by his side 24hrs.

“We have some brief moments where he’ll sit up, eat a few grapes. We’ve both also sneaked some cuddles in.”

The couple again thanked everyone who has donated to the appeal, is planning events or has sent them notes of support, saying: “It keeps us all fighting.”