Cambridge United's opening home game against Newport County to celebrate life of Cayden Tickner, 11
Cambridge United's opening game against Newport County at the Abbey Stadium today will celebrate the life of Cayden Tickner, 11.
The U’s Evad Community Hero of the Day for the match has been posthumously awarded to the very special little boy, with his family presenting the match ball to the referee on Cayden’s behalf.
Cayden was an avid Cambridge United supporter and season ticket holder who, until he became ill, enjoyed his trips to matches at the Abbey with his grandad Graham.
In March 2010, aged 10, Cayden was diagnosed with a brain tumour which was so rare it could not be identified, either in the UK or abroad. Cayden endured two lengthy operations to reduce the size of the tumour but because of its position he was left permanently blind.
During his time in Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cayden was thrilled to receive a visit from some of the United first-team squad at the time and then, having been released from hospital, was invited by the club to be one of the mascots at the final game of the 2017/18 season. He loved the experience despite his new disability.
He went through a long course of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, but remained as cheerful and positive about life regardless of all it was throwing at him.
In June 2018 Cayden took part in a walk to help raise money for a charity which had great meaning and had become very special to him. The Joshua Tarrant Trust, based in Haverhill, exists solely to help children with brain tumours.
Cayden eventually returned to school and loved nothing more than to entertain his friends with his loud, rousing renditions of The Greatest Showman and, whenever he could, would amuse them with his jokes. Most of all, throughout this period, Cayden showed his unconditional love to everybody who came into contact with him.
The medical treatment eventually had to be withdrawn, and the tumour, which had been held at bay to some extent, soon began to grow again. In the early spring, Cayden’s condition worsened noticeably and, aged 11, he was taken from his family on May 3 this year, almost exactly 12 months after his mascot day.
Cayden will always be remembered for his courage, his positivity, his humour and, above all, his loving nature. He will never be forgotten by anybody who knew him or came into contact with him.
Cayden has been posthumously awarded the Evad Community Hero of the day award for the match against Newport, and his family will be joining the club in hospitality before presenting the match ball to the referee before kick off on Cayden’s behalf.
The match programme will feature Cayden on the front cover and Cayden’s sisters, Liannah and Ellis-Mae, will be playing their part by leading the team out of the tunnel alongside George Maris, Cayden’s favourite player.
The players will warm-up wearing t-shirts that feature Cayden’s picture and the message ‘Always in our hearts, always a U’.
A bucket collection will be held at the game for the Joshua Tarrant Trust, for which Cayden took part in a walk to help raise money in June 2018.
There will also be a minute’s applause in the 11th minute to celebrate the 11 years of Cayden’s life.