TRIBUTES have been paid to “the bravest boy in the world” who has sadly died.

Charlie Reed battled a rare and aggressive form of blood cancer and has died at the age of just 16.

In autumn last year, an international search was carried out to find a bone marrow donor for Charlie, including an event in Old Leigh, which saw 500 people register.

After a successful transplant at the end of 2018, Charlie’s health did pick up but he sadly relapsed in March this year and was in and out of hospital.

Unfortunately, his lungs began to deteriorate, and he suffered pneumonia three times, before he finally lost his battle on September 30.

Paying tribute to her son, Charlie’s mum Shelley Legge, from Leigh, said: “I was so proud of Charlie throughout his time with us, he was the bravest boy I’ve ever met.

“All of the hospital staff who helped him said they were constantly amazed by how brave he was. He really did fight to the end.

“He was very weak in his last few weeks, he’d lost a lot of weight and didn’t have a lot of energy. In the end his lungs just couldn’t cope

“It’s wonderful that his life saw him manage to raise so much awareness for blood cancer.

“In the end we had about 4,000 swabs taken as a result, which was just amazing. He died a year to the day that we held the big swab register event in Old Leigh.

“If someone were to have told me then that my son was going to die a year later, I would never have believed them.”

Charlie grew up in Leigh and enjoyed mountain biking over at the glen and Hadleigh bike track.

Charlie was a talented drummer, covering various artists and had written songs about bullying before he died.

His funeral was held at Southend Crematorium on October 7, which saw more than 250 people turn up to pay their respects.

Charlie’s family now plant to distribute his music far and wide to raise more awareness of his condition, with funds being split between Little Havens’ Hospice and the Gold Geese charity in Southend, who organised the mass swab event last year.

Shelley added: “I want to make him proud, I want his music to be heard by as many people as possible.

“He was a fighter, and now I’m going to fight for his memory to live on.”

View Charlie’s music here.