VILE thieves have been blasted for stealing from a cancer-stricken Wigan child.
Five-year-old Tyler James Reid was left heartbroken after they plundered a collection tin in aid of a family trip to Legoland.
Since the Pemberton youngster was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma last March, he has been in and out of the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.
The St John’s Primary School pupil has been having chemotherapy, which has left him feeling quite ill, and his family wanted to give him a treat.
So a bucket was left at The Avenue pub, also known as The Norley Hall Hotel, in Severn Drive, for people to leave donations over several weeks.
But when his parents Kerry Hamer and Anthony Reid came to collect the money on Monday night, they discovered all the paper money and larger denomination coins had been stolen, leaving just small change.
Kerry, 30, said: “It is disgusting. Tyler knows what has happened and he is upset about it. I think it is horrible and I don’t know how someone could do that to a child who has cancer.
“We hope to find out who has stolen this money and try to get it back.
“When Tyler was first diagnosed he was really ill, but now he is not as bad. He still has to go to hospital every week to have medicine flushed into his hickman line (a central venous catheter) and has chemotherapy.
“Sometimes it can make him ill and he has to be in a wheelchair because he gets really tired.
“We just wanted to raise money to send him to Legoland with his brother and sister.”
Anthony, 33, said: “We had done a charity event for Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and we thought it would be nice to put out another collection box for Tyler as he has been going through so much for such a young boy.
“We had been keeping an eye on the bucket and went for a drink at the pub on Halloween night and noticed it was half full, with quite a few five and 10-pound notes.
“But when we collected it, we found all the big money had gone.
“We have spoken to the bar staff at the pub, but they do not know much about it.”
A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police confirmed that they had received a report of a theft and inquiries were ongoing.