London — Chelsea captain John Terry will pay for the funeral
of an 8-year-old fan who died of leukemia last month.
The former England captain and other Chelsea players met
Tommi Miller at Stamford Bridge following a game last year. Terry, who is
currently injured, told local media he was "devastated" to hear of
Tommi's death, and wants the child to get "the send-off he deserves."
"I'm overwhelmed really," said Tommi's mother,
Ruth, "because Tommi was such a great fan of John Terry in
A friend of the Millers, who live in Cambridge, contacted
Terry over social media to ask if he would like to contribute to the costs, the
BBC reported Tuesday. Terry responded and when he was told it would cost 1,600
pounds ($2,280), he checked with the funeral director to make sure it was a
legitimate request and agreed to make the payment that will cover the burial,
cars and flowers.
Also read: Terry misses training ahead of PSG clash
The funeral will take place on Thursday. A hundred blue
balloons will be released into the sky during the service, and those attending
will wear either Chelsea or Cambridge United jerseys.
"We don't want a traditional sort of funeral,"
Ruth Miller told the Cambridge News. "It's for a child, so we thought we
would have it as bright and cheerful as he would want it."
Tommi, who was diagnosed with leukemia when he was 3,
received a letter from Terry when he was placed on a life-support machine. The
letter was read out to Tommi, who also received a letter on behalf of the
"When we visited the stadium, you could tell John Terry
was really taken by him and his cheekiness," Miller said, "but it was
still a shock when we heard (about Terry's gesture).
"Tommi obviously made a big impression on him."For
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