A FATHER paid a touching tribute to his son as an award named in his memory was given to youngsters in Northumberland.
Matthew Phillips, of Shilbottle, died in February at just five-years-old after battling a brain tumour.
He was nominated for the Pride of Northumberland Child of Courage award for two years in a row and would have been in the running this year.
But after his death, it was decided to honour Matthew by naming the Child of Courage category in memory of him. And at the awards ceremony last week, dad Rob made a heartfelt speech about his much-loved and missed youngster.
“Matt charmed everyone he met,” he said.
“Matt’s illness never stopped him living his life and this award just sums him up.
“Matthew was a very special little boy.
“And now the fact that it carries his name allows other children to be recognised for their courage and determination throughout their lives.
“It also means that Matt’s memory will live on forever and as a father that makes me very proud.”
Nine-year-old Brandon Ballance, Cory Davison, seven, and Ethan Kerr, seven, were given the Matthew Phillips Child of Courage Award, as judges felt they all deserved to win.
In total, nine individuals and groups and three children were honoured in the awards, which are organised by Northeast Press, publishers of the Northumberland Gazette and sister papers the Morpeth Herald and News Post Leader.
They reward ordinary people for doing extraordinary things and overcoming hurdles in the face of adversity or for going above and beyond their call of duty and achieving as much as possible.
The awards, now in their third year, proved to be another huge success with people across the county being recognised for their efforts.