A Wigan family has been overwhelmed by messages of support for their brave little battler who is seriously ill in hospital.
Well-wishers including some of the borough’s best-known sports stars have taken to social media in force to rally round young Archie Musgrave.
The campaign on Facebook and Twitter has reached far beyond Wigan as supporters back his battle using the hashtag Pray4Archie.
The under-sevens team Hindley ARLFC Rugby Bucks where the St Peter’s CE Primary School pupil plays has shared its hopes for a speedy recovery and spoken of his popularity at the club.
The Hindley youngster’s parents Kate and Joe Musgrave, meanwhile, gave a statement expressing how much the outpouring of public backing means to them and how well Archie is fighting through his horrendous situation.
They said: “Archie is fighting like a trooper with all his might and he is doing very well. We are just overwhelmed with all the support.”
In a public Facebook message posted on Wednesday mum Kate said to Archie’s army of well-wishers: “thankyou to each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart.”
Paula Longworth, who leads the junior rugby league team where he plays, said: “Archie is a very happy little boy who is always smiling. He loves his rugby and is very proud to wear the Bucks kit.
“We at the club are sending all our support to him and his parents and want to let them know we are here for them.
“Archie’s family has told me all the support from local people and the rugby community is keeping them positive.
“We’re hoping he will soon be back with us, knocking us off our feet with the tackle pads.”
The 13-man code has produced an incredible response to Archie’s plight, with some of the most high-profile names in Super League sending wishes using the hashtag.
Wigan Warriors full back and England international Sam Tomkins said: “All the Wigan Warriors boys are supporting you Archie”, finishing his tweet with a thumbs-up image.
Messages of “get well soon Archie” were also posted on Twitter by Warriors back Dom Manfredi and forward Ryan Sutton.
Amateur clubs have also rallied to the family’s aid with messages from dozens of sides from around Wigan and Leigh as well as from rugby league hotbeds including St Helens and Cumbria.
Hindley ARLFC’s official Twitter account posted a picture of Archie with the message: “You can do this young man our Bucks are tough!”