DEVASTATED parents Nicky and Anthony Marsland say words cannot express their grief after the death of their six-year-old son Jacob.

The brave youngster, a Kingsmead Primary School pupil, lost his two-year battle with a rare form of cancer on Friday, January 9, the day after his mum’s birthday.

Nicky and Anthony had planned to take Jacob to America for revolutionary treatment, but a scan just before Christmas revealed the neuroblastoma had spread to every part of his body.

And just weeks after his parents received the shattering news, the inspirational youngster lost his fight for life.

“It happened sooner than we expected, but Jacob passed so peacefully surrounded by his family,” said Anthony. “He looked more beautiful than ever and at peace. Jacob meant everything to us and we fought his illness together for two years.

“Words cannot express our grief. The pain we feel is indescribable.”

Jacob, a Manchester United supporter, was honoured for his bravery and “unfailing zest for life” at the Chronicle’s Community Champions awards in November, and he continued to astound everyone with his irrepressible cheerfulness and charm right until the end.

“Jacob has truly touched the hearts of so many people,” said Anthony. “We would like to thank everyone for their kind messages of condolence.”

Kingsmead Primary headteacher Catriona Stewart said: “Jacob had been with us since September and was a delightful little boy.

“He will be remembered for his chirpy smile and optimistic and happy nature. He was an asset to the school and we will cherish the short time we had with him.”

To leave your tribute to Jacob click here