A colourful farewell for brave William

Brave William Binns with girlfriend Emily
Brave William Binns with girlfriend Emily

The mother and fiancee of an inspirational 20-year-old who battled with a rare type of cancer have spoken of the love they shared for the Bradford City fan.

Bev Ackroyd, 49, and Emily Coleman, 20, of Sun Way, Southowram, say they are thankful for the happy times they shared with William Binns, who suffered with Ewing’s Sarcoma - a deadly and rare type of bone cancer which forced him to have his leg amputated.

Will’s friends and family including his mum and fiancee, father Jon, twin brothers Thomas and Daniel, 23, stepfather Michael Ackroyd, 49, and childhood best friends Lathaniel and Matthew and others surrounded William as he peacefully passed away on the Teenage Cancer Trust ward at St James’ Hospital, Leeds.

Bev says she is devastated to have lost her son but cherishes memories of her boy who, she says, gave the family their strength during his darkest days.

“William was so positive - he had a strength so strong I’ve never seen in anyone so young. We’re so proud of him - he tackled his cancer with bravery and positivity - he kept us going. Everyone who met him said he was an inspiration,” said the mother-of-three.

Will had spoken of proposing to girlfriend of ten-months Emily and when he passed away, Emily’s sister Zoe, who brought the couple together, bought her an engagement ring.

The heartbroken 20-year-old said: “Everyone knew we would marry one day. It was my sister’s way of making sure I still get a ring on my finger - I haven’t taken it off since,” said Emily who plans to change her name to Binns.

“Just from knowing him I’m such a stronger person,” she said.

Bev wishes to thank the nurses who have been a great source of support.

William lost his leg to a cancerous tumour which was discovered after a fall when working at Halifax Borough Market with his stepdad, aged 19. He was determined to beat the deadly cancer but his body rejected chemotherapy which was treating a second tumour in his hip.

Bev says she is thankful her son is now free from the illness which made him so weak.

The celebration of William, who Bev and her sons say was a colourful and happy young man, will be held at St Anne’s, Southowram, at 10am on May 8, followed by a gathering at Bottomleys Arms, Shelf. Friends and family will wear Bradford City colours or ‘team Will’ t-shirts.